How to avoid a seizure: How to Prevent Seizures – Neurology Center For Epilepsy & Seizures
How to Prevent Seizures – Neurology Center For Epilepsy & Seizures
While any person can have a seizure, people who have had two or more seizures without an identifiable cause are at higher risk of having additional seizures. Other conditions may also increase the risk of seizures. If you are at high risk for seizures or you have a child who is considered high-risk for seizures, you may be looking for seizure treatment New Jersey. Not all measures work for all people, and you may only be able to reduce the number of seizures rather than eliminate them. However, many people find the following things help reduce the number of seizures that they have.
Take All Medication as Prescribed
Anti-epileptic medications can be very effective at helping some people reduce or even eliminate seizures. The problem is that, once the seizures stop happening people often stop taking their medicines. That can actually cause withdrawal seizures. Trying to self-medicate by increasing dosages can also cause toxicity. That is why it is important to take the prescribed dose at the same time or times each day, and to follow your doctor’s instructions about what to do if you miss a dose.
Lack of sleep is a big contributing factor to seizures. Getting enough sleep can help you avoid seizures and reduce overall stress. Helping your kid get enough sleep can be difficult, especially for older kids who naturally want to stay up later but have to wake up early for school days. Enforcing an early bedtime for you or your kids may seem difficult, but it could help reduce seizures.
Eat Regular Meals
Skipping meals can lead to hypoglycemia, which can trigger seizures in some people. Eating meals at regular times and having healthy snacks between meals can help reduce your risk of seizures.
Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
When your children are small, it is easy to keep them from drinking or taking recreational drugs. However, as much as parents may want to ignore it, drugs and alcohol are often part of teenage life. You need to make sure your children are aware that alcohol and drug use can contribute to seizures. In addition, they may have negative interactions with anti-seizure medications. Even for adults, avoiding these triggers can be difficult. However, they simply are not worth risking triggering a seizure.
Exercise may be the single most-effective “medicine” that a doctor can suggest. It has overall health benefits that can tackle a variety of different conditions. While exercise is not directly linked to a reduction in seizures, it is linked to reducing stress levels. Stress is a known trigger for seizures, so incorporating regular exercise can help you manage that stress and avoid seizures.
Pay Attention to Fevers
While epilepsy and seizure disorders put people at high risk of having seizures, many children are at risk of having seizures if they have high fevers. If your child is experiencing a high fever, contact a medical professional for help on how to bring down body temperature.
Avoid Flashing Lights
Flashing lights are a commonly known seizure trigger. However, they actually only impact about 3% of people with epilepsy. If you have photosensitive epilepsy, you need to limit exposure to flashing lights. That can include video games.
Find a Good Neurologist
If you have epilepsy or another seizure-disorder, you need a pediatric neurologist to manage your care. A neurologist can investigate why the seizures are happening and help create a treatment protocol for you.
- previous post: Treatment for Epilepsy in New Jersey
- next post: How Much Can It Cost to Treat Epilepsy
How to Prevent Seizures
While there’s no one way to prevent a seizure, following a well-rounded treatment and management plan can help.
A seizure occurs due to abnormal or overactive electrical activity in the brain, which disrupts brain cells from effectively sending messages to each other.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you’ve had two or more seizures, your doctor may diagnose you with epilepsy.
If you have epilepsy, or another condition that puts you at risk of recurring seizures, it’s important to take preventive measures to stop them from occurring.
Follow these tips to keep someone safe during a seizure.
What to do
In the case of a seizure, you can help a loved one by:
- remaining calm
- placing a pillow or cushion under their head
- laying them on their side for protection if no cushioning is available
- creating space to avoid injuries by moving surrounding furniture and objects
- noting the time the seizure begins and ends
- staying with your loved one for the entire seizure — they can last a few seconds or up to 2 to 3 minutes
What not to do
It’s just as important to know what not to do if your loved one is having a seizure. You can avoid further complications by not:
- placing anything in their mouth in an attempt to prevent tongue biting — this may cause injuries
- moving them to another room
- restraining them
- leaving them alone
When to call 911
While not all seizures require emergency medical attention, you should call 911 or local emergency services if:
- it’s the first time this person has ever had a seizure
- a child has a seizure of any duration
- an adult has a seizure lasting longer than 5 minutes
- the individual doesn’t wake up after a seizure
- the individual experiences repeat seizures
- the individual is injured during a seizure
- the individual who had a seizure is pregnant
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Keep in mind that there are different types of seizures that may affect different parts of your brain. Each person’s experiences with seizures may vary, too.
This information can also help reduce the chances of developing related conditions, such as:
- difficulty with thinking
Seizure prevention is dependent on an overall management and treatment plan, such as taking your prescribed medications and making lifestyle changes.
Talk with a doctor about incorporating the following measures into your overall treatment and management plan to help prevent seizures.
1. Take your medication as prescribed
Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are prescription medications designed to help prevent seizures. It’s important to never stop taking these medications without a doctor’s approval — even if your condition seems to be improving.
In fact, not taking your medications properly puts you at risk of uncontrolled seizures.
Withdrawal seizures can occur if you skip medication. Medication toxicity from taking too much at a time can result in side effects, which may involve seizures.
2. Avoid consuming alcohol
Alcohol isn’t recommended for people with epilepsy, due to an increased risk of seizures. You may help prevent future episodes by avoiding alcohol.
If you’re experiencing alcohol misuse, be sure to talk with a healthcare professional about how to safely quit drinking.
3. Avoid substance misuse
In addition to alcohol avoidance, it’s important to avoid substance misuse as part of your seizure management plan.
Talk with a medical professional if you’re having challenges with using legal or illegal substances.
4. Practice stress management
Stress can be a trigger for seizures in epilepsy. It may help you reduce your risk of seizures if you manage your stress by:
- getting enough sleep
- taking time to relax
5. Maintain a sleep schedule
Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day can help you maintain a sleep schedule.
Tiredness and short-term sleep deprivation are considered triggers for seizures, so regular sleep can help prevent them.
6. Keep a consistent meal schedule
Hypoglycemia from skipping a meal can cause a seizure, particularly for people with diabetes.
It’s a good practice to keep a consistent meal schedule and have fast-acting sources of glucose on you at all times if you have diabetes.
7. Avoid flashing lights
According to the Epilepsy Society, it’s estimated that about 3% of people with epilepsy have a rare form called photosensitive epilepsy. With this type of epilepsy, seizures may be triggered by flashing lights or contrasting patterns of light.
If you’re photosensitive, such exposure to lights could trigger a seizure immediately.
While AEDs can help prevent seizures, it’s also important to avoid flashing lights and images, as well as those in geometric patterns. Playing video games with rapidly flashing graphics may also trigger seizures in some people.
If you’re suddenly exposed to flashing lights or patterns, quickly cover one or both eyes with your hand. According to the Epilepsy Society, this may help prevent the onset of a seizure.
8. Protect yourself from head injuries
Head injuries can lead to a single seizure or recurrent seizures in someone who doesn’t have epilepsy. The related seizures may occur weeks, months, or even up to a year after the injury.
According to the CDC, 1 in 10 people ages 15 and older who were hospitalized for a traumatic brain injury go on to develop epilepsy within 3 years.
A head injury can also trigger a seizure in someone who already has epilepsy. So, it’s important to protect yourself from future head injuries and the possibility of more related seizures.
Wear a helmet when bicycling, skating, or playing contact sports. Talk with a medical professional about stability exercises to help decrease your risk of falls.
9. Pay attention to fevers
Some children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years may be at risk of developing febrile seizures. These are triggered by fevers of 101°F (38°C) or higher and may accompany infections.
Not every child with a high fever will develop a febrile seizure, and the episode may occur hours later.
Call 911 or local emergency medical services if your child has a seizure. Children with febrile seizures may be at a higher risk of having future episodes, so medication may be necessary to prevent them.
A few options are available for treating seizures. It’s important to work with a doctor to develop the right epilepsy treatment plan for you.
Prescription AEDs are first-line treatments for seizures. These drugs are also known as antiseizure medications or anticonvulsants, and they come in various types and brands.
Some AEDs treat partial seizures, for instance, while others treat more generalized ones.
AEDs can’t cure epilepsy, but they may help prevent future seizures. It’s also important to talk with a healthcare professional about possible side effects, such as:
- difficulty with thinking
Some AEDs may pose long-term health issues, such as increasing your risk of osteoporosis.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, 3 in 10 people with epilepsy either don’t have success with AED mediation or deal with bothersome side effects. For these people, implanting devices that send small electric currents to the brain may help prevent seizures. Options include:
- vagus nerve stimulation
- responsive neurostimulation
- deep brain stimulation
If you’ve tried medications, devices, and other lifestyle changes but your seizures aren’t well-controlled, undergoing brain surgery may be an option. Common surgical procedures for epilepsy include:
- focal resection, or the removal of a known area in your brain where seizures begin
- disconnection surgery, or the removal of brain connections that cause seizures to spread from one side of the brain to the other
Not everyone who experiences seizures is a good candidate for surgery. Talk with a doctor about your options.
After you experience a seizure, your primary care doctor may refer you to a special type of neurologist known as a epileptologist. This type of doctor specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing seizures.
Once you’ve had a seizure, you may be at risk of future episodes the rest of your life. A neurologist or epileptologist can help you come up with a seizure treatment and management plan. This likely includes:
- medications or other treatments
- lifestyle changes
- other preventive measures
It’s also important to check in with your neurologist or epileptologist if you’re concerned with medication side effects, or if you continue to have seizures despite taking AEDs. They may recommend an alternative treatment to help.
Due to the intricate nature of seizures, there’s no way to completely prevent them once you’ve had one.
But taking AEDs and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are strategies that can help.
It’s important to never stop taking medications on your own without consulting a medical professional. Contact your doctor if you’re not happy with your current treatment plan. Together, you can discuss next steps.
How to avoid an epileptic attack? See the epileptologist’s answer
How to avoid an epilepsy attack? What can be done to prevent an epileptic seizure in a child or adult? The best epileptologists in Israel, Prof. Uri Kramer and Dr. Ilan Blat, answer.
Sudden uncontrolled epileptic seizures are the biggest problem associated with this disease. An attack can happen at any time: while swimming in the pool, riding a bike, in the middle of a lesson at school, or at an important meeting at work.
Fear of the next possible attack and its expectation make many patients deny themselves a normal, full life.
Epileptic seizures can be avoided only with the help of a properly selected treatment protocol and following the advice of an epileptologist. There are no miracle folk remedies, homeopathic medicines or dolphin therapy that can prevent an epileptic attack in humans, even if these attacks occur rarely and take a few seconds in time (for example, absences). Only a full-fledged complex treatment by an experienced epileptologist will give positive results and help you live a full life, completely getting rid of seizures.
Watch the video answer from the world famous epileptologist Prof. Uri Kramer
Video “How to avoid an epileptic attack”. Professor Uri Kramer
3 golden rules for every child and adult with epilepsy
Take antiepileptic drugs on time, following the recommendations of an epileptologist
It is important to take antiepileptic drugs regularly leptic drugs, observing the dosage and time of admission – this helps to maintain the required level active substance in the body, which prevents the occurrence of epileptic seizures.
Keep a daily routine
Sleep and wakefulness should be a golden rule for every patient with epilepsy. Irregular sleep patterns, lack of sleep and sudden awakenings reduce the body’s defenses and can provoke an epileptic seizure. Both children and adults should go to bed at the same time, as well as get enough sleep. Additional recommendations on the Daily routine for epilepsy page.
Keep in touch with your doctor
It is important for people with epilepsy to keep in touch with their treating epileptologist. Not in all cases, it is possible to choose the right drug the first time or avoid the side effects of antiepileptic drugs, so it is important to change the protocol in time or switch to another treatment option.
What if the seizures are not controlled by the prescribed treatment?
Even if you have visited many specialists, this does not mean that there is no solution in your case.
We are often visited by children and adults who have been taking antiepileptic drugs for years but cannot get rid of their seizures. Each case is individual and the severity of the disease will be different for each patient, but we manage to choose the optimal treatment protocol in virtually every case.
About 20 modern antiepileptic drugs are used in Israel, which are not available in pharmacies in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other countries of the former USSR. Such a range of drugs provides additional opportunities in determining the desired treatment protocol and can help those patients whose problems have not yet been solved.
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Read Children’s Epilepsy A to Z by pediatric epileptologist Professor Uri Kramer
Learn how to help your child live the best possible life despite epilepsy. The author is the famous children’s epileptologist Professor Uri Kramer. Publisher: Migdal Medical Clinic (Israel, 2023)
The book is written in simple language for moms and dads, full of practical advice and recommendations from an expert epileptologist with a worldwide reputation.
In Professor Kramer’s book, you will find answers to many of your questions about epilepsy in children, from types of seizures, correct diagnosis, effective treatments, to practical advice on how to improve your child’s quality of life and prepare him for independent adulthood. .
Dr. Ilan Blat
Dr. Blat is a world-renowned epileptologist, one of the best specialists in Israel in the treatment of adult epilepsy.
Education, experience and scientific work
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How to prevent an epileptic attack. How to avoid and prevent an epileptic attack.
How to prevent an epileptic attack. How to avoid and prevent an epileptic attack.
Gimranov Rinat Fazylzhanovich
Neurologist, neurophysiologist, experience – 33 years;
Professor of Neurology, MD;
Clinic for Rehabilitation Neurology. About the author
Publication date: January 4, 2020
Updated: April 22, 2022
Epilepsy is a disease that manifests itself in the form of convulsive seizures. Often they are short, able to progress into protracted ones. This is a dangerous condition for health and life, so patients need to avoid attacks by all means.
A banal thing from the point of view of healthy people can provoke an attack in a patient. However, ways to stop an epileptic attack in humans are also known.
Contents of the article:
- 1 What can be caused?
- 2 First aid
- 3 How to prevent?
- 4 Prevention in children and adults
- 5 References
What can cause it?
Doctors have proven that an epileptic seizure is the result of an abnormal excitation of nerve cells in the brain. Neurons transmit erratic electrical impulses to the muscles of the body, which causes a seizure. That is, what we see as manifestations of the disease.
Depending on the specific type of disease, there are dangerous factors that can provoke the onset of an exacerbation:
- Alcohol and drugs are prohibited. Even a small dose of alcohol in an epileptic can provoke the onset of a seizure, and together with anticonvulsants, a rapid death of the cells of the cerebral cortex is initiated. This leads to degradation and early death. Treatment with medicinal herbs is also recommended to be carried out with decoctions, since alcohol tinctures adversely affect the body.
- Sleep deprivation is one of the most common triggers in children and adolescents. They need to sleep more than the average person, in addition, they are characterized by bouts of insomnia. Therefore, the patient is aligned with the sleep schedule with the help of evening walks, taking light sedatives on herbs.
- Food restriction. Patients should follow a special ketogenic diet for epilepsy. The menu restricts carbohydrates, foods and drinks that provoke hyperactivity of brain neurons. Avoid abuse of coffee, tea, sweets, pickles, drinking large amounts of liquid.
- Physical overwork, as well as severe chronic stress, also have a negative effect on the work of neurons.
- Light flickering or bright lights, stroboscope. They trigger the mechanism of desynchronization of the electrical activity of the brain cells, causing an attack of seizures.
In addition to the above, each patient has his own triggers that act specifically on him. When making a diagnosis, they should be calculated and then avoided.
We do not always manage to prevent an epileptic attack, but everyone should know how to reduce the possible harm from it. You never know where you have to provide first aid to a person.
If you have witnessed an attack, then you should not panic:
- Lay the person down on something as soft as possible or put something under their head so that they do not break the skull during convulsions.
- Remove the surrounding objects at a body length distance from it.
- Turn your head to the side so that when saliva and foam are released, the person does not choke.
- Record the time of the onset of the attack. If it lasts longer than 5 minutes, call an ambulance, as the case is atypical and without medical intervention can be fatal.
- Do not use force to restrain a convulsing person. You won’t be able to calm him down, but inflicting an accidental injury is completely.
- Try to open your jaws so that the patient does not break his teeth or jawbones. Use only a soft roller from a scarf or towel for this. In no case do not apply physical force, do not put your fingers or metal objects into the patient’s mouth.
- It is impossible to try to pull out the tongue, it is dangerous, as a person can sharply close his jaw, bite it off and bite the helping hand. It is enough that the patient will be on his side.
- Be sympathetic to the physical consequences of such a condition (the end of a classic attack is urination).
After an attack, the patient does not fully recover. He is exhausted, so he tries to sleep.
Immediate medical attention needed:
- If convulsions last more than 5 minutes.
- Seizures occur one after another, while during the breaks the person does not regain consciousness.
- The epileptic manifestation happened for the first time.
- Seizure in a pregnant woman.
In other cases, the help of specialists is not needed. It is enough to ensure peace after what happened and the understanding attitude of others.
How to prevent?
To know how to avoid an epileptic attack in advance, you need to understand the specific causes that cause it. Eliminate the causes – you will overcome possible attacks.
Patients need constant drug prophylaxis. However, in some cases, even it does not help.
There are types of diseases that manifest themselves some time before the onset of a seizure. You need to learn how to recognize this condition and how to prevent it:
- Carry your medication with you at all times. As soon as you feel the manifestations of the aura characteristic of epilepsy, take it immediately, and then try to take a comfortable, safe position.
- Getting rid of the sensations that have appeared or interrupting them with stronger ones, you can prevent an epileptic seizure. If you notice a strange smell or taste, try sniffing a cotton ball soaked in ammonia or another strong-smelling substance. The pungent smell will relieve the pre-convulsive state.
- The feeling of pain, which has arisen of one’s own free will, overriding the feelings of an approaching crisis in strength, also helps. Pinch yourself.
- Avoid strenuous exercise. Stop physical labor as soon as you feel tired. The same applies to intellectual activity: a break of 5 minutes every half hour.
- It is also possible to try the action of the opposite feeling. If you are hot, put a piece of ice on your face. If seizures occur at the moments when a person is depressed, try to pull him out of this state, interest him in something or cheer him up.
- Avoid monotony. Whatever you do, take a break every hour for at least 5-10 minutes.
Prevention in children and adults
Prevention is the foundation. In parallel with drug treatment, they lead to a stable remission, when attacks do not occur for years.
In general, preventive measures for children and adults are the same, but there are certain restrictions and nuances associated with age.
- Strictly follow the daily routine. Don’t disturb your night’s sleep.
- Choose the right, balanced diet.
- Protect from head injury.
- Timely treat any disease, especially infectious diseases.
In adults, the restrictions are more severe, but generally the same:
- When planning a child, determine if the future parents have relatives with epilepsy. Report this to the doctor observing the pregnancy. Since in some women the disease first manifests itself just in the period of gestation.
- Avoid physical, moral overwork.
- Give up alcohol, tobacco products during pregnancy.
- Treat all diseases related to the functioning of the brain and vascular system in a timely manner.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
- Avoid intoxication – ecology, nicotine, alcohol.
A healthy lifestyle is a way to avoid the occurrence of even single seizures in people who are genetically prone to epilepsy. It also reduces the risk of seizures in offspring.
If the pathology has already manifested itself and the diagnosis is verified, follow the above recommendations and instructions of the doctor regarding the preventive use of medications.
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