If you have experienced a seizure, you know it can significantly impact your daily life. If you know how to prevent seizures, you can put specific measures in place to ensure you can avoid an attack or learn how to manage it when it does occur.
Here are eight ways to prevent and manage seizures.
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Some medications can prevent or lessen the severity of seizures. Therefore, keeping up to date with your treatment and remembering to take it as prescribed will be a considerable help.
If you are likely to forget your medication, here are some things you can do:
Set a reminder on your phone
Add reminders to your calendar
Ask a close friend or family member to remind you
Take your medication at a specific time of day, for example, before breakfast or before bedtime
Use a pillbox
Keep the spare medication in your work bag or car so it’s available if you forget to take it at home
Consumption of alcohol can make seizures worse by increasing the frequency of episodes or their severity. For others, alcohol is also a known trigger.
Another reason to avoid alcohol is that it can increase the duration of seizures. A typical seizure can last up to two minutes. It is regarded as a medical emergency when it lasts longer than five minutes.
Binge drinking will have the most severe consequences and can lead to withdrawal seizures. However, having three standard drinks is still considered high risk.
If you are unsure about whether it’s safe to drink alcohol, ask your doctor first. It’s also worth knowing whether alcohol can interact with your current medications.
Drug abuse is regarded as another potential trigger of seizures. These include illicit substances, such as cocaine, amphetamines, or stimulants. Unfortunately, there is insufficient evidence regarding the relationship between cannabis recreational use and seizures.
Another factor to consider is that drug abuse can have an indirect effect by causing you to forget to take your medication or interfering with your sleep.
A lack of sleep or sleep deprivation triggers seizures by disrupting the electrical and hormonal activity in the brain. Hence, it’s best to have a daily routine to ensure you sleep properly.
To improve the quality of your sleep, you could try practicing good sleep hygiene. Good sleep hygiene practices include:
Staying consistent—sleeping and waking at the same time every day
Removing electronic devices from your bedroom
Getting enough exercise during the day so that you’re more tired at night
Avoiding large meals before bedtime
Limiting or avoiding alcohol before bedtime
It’s unclear whether stress is a direct trigger of seizures. However, it has also been known to affect the frequency of seizures related to epilepsy and affect many health conditions.
If you suspect that stress could trigger your seizures, reducing your stress as much as possible would be recommended.
To reduce stress, you could try some relaxation techniques, such as:
Muscle relaxation to reduce tension
Traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of seizures. Therefore, preventing head injuries by putting safety measures in place may prevent you from developing conditions such as epilepsy.
If you already suffer from seizures, a head injury could significantly worsen your symptoms.
Flashing lights or specific visual patterns may trigger a seizure for photosensitive people, or other symptoms like headaches, nausea, or dizziness
Other potential triggers include:
Alcohol and alcohol withdrawal
Hormonal changes linked to menstruation
Lack of food and low blood sugar
Some medications, such as cold and flu remedies or herbal medicines
You may also discover that particular foods or beverages trigger you. Unfortunately, different people will experience various triggers. Because of this, you will not know what triggers your seizures until it happens.
While it’s impossible to avoid a stroke entirely, there are some measures you can put in place to reduce your risk. Doing so may prevent seizures since strokes increase your chances of developing epilepsy.
Here’s how to avoid strokes:
Don’t smoke, and limit your alcohol intake
Check your cholesterol and blood pressure regularly
Should you happen to develop epilepsy or seizures after experiencing a stroke, some medications can help. You will need to take this medication regularly for the best possible outcome.
If you are trying to avoid or reduce the number of seizures you are experiencing, your main priority should be regularly taking your medication. Other lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding alcohol, getting enough sleep, and adopting healthy eating habits, can also help.
If you want to avoid or reduce the number of seizures, the most important thing you can do is keep track of your medication and take it regularly. Additional lifestyle modifications also play an essential role.
A lack of sleep has been shown to increase the frequency or severity of seizures. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you get adequate sleep every night.
Everyone’s triggers are different. However, flashing lights, caffeine, and alcohol are prime examples of common triggers.
Seizure medications (2021)
Status epilepticus | Epilepsy Foundation
Tips for better sleep | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Preventing epilepsy | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Seizure triggers | Epilepsy Foundation
Strokes may lead to epilepsy | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Prevent stroke: What you can do | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention