If you or a loved one has joined the nearly 3.5 million people in the United States who are diagnosed with epilepsy, you likely have some questions, starting with what life will be like moving forward.
The good news is that with the right medical team in your corner, the outlook is very good.
Our team of skilled neurology specialists at Complete Neurological Care have extensive experience helping patients with epilepsy, and we can do the same for your loved one or you.
Here’s a brief look at what you can expect when you’re living with epilepsy.
When it comes to living with epilepsy, the first thing to understand is that no two people experience the condition in the same way. While epilepsy is defined as having repeated seizures and is diagnosed after just two, these are just the broad parameters.
From there, some people with epilepsy routinely experience seizures while others have seizures that are few and far between, sometimes going years in between.
There are also different types of seizures. For people who have primary generalized seizures, the seizures are caused by a large electrical discharge that begins in both sides of the brain at the same time.
Others may have partial seizures that begin with an electrical discharge in just one area of the brain. These focalized seizures can spread to both sides of the brain to become a generalized seizure.
How the seizures present themselves can also differ from one person to the next. The Hollywood characterization of a person convulsing is just one presentation. Some people have seizures in which they experience a shift in awareness, stiffness, or twitching.
Our point here is that the first step in treating your epilepsy is to have us study and evaluate the condition, which will dictate much of your treatment moving forward.
Our frontline treatments for epilepsy are antiepileptic medications, which garner a 70% success rate in controlling seizures.
Outside of these medications, we may also recommend vagus nerve stimulation or a change in your diet that may help to prevent seizures (a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet or modified Atkins diet works best).
If these efforts prove unsuccessful, we can try a surgical solution. Surgery is an option for people who have focalized epilepsy, as we’re able to isolate the area of your brain that initiates the seizure.
While we do our part to control your epilepsy, there are some things that you can do on your end to make life easier, such as:
You should also modify your activities so you’re not in danger if you have a seizure. For example, don’t go swimming alone or cook over an open flame when you’re on your own.
Between our efforts here and your efforts at home, there’s every reason to believe that you can lead a happy and productive life despite your epilepsy diagnosis.
If you want to learn more about living with epilepsy, please contact one of our offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, or Margate, Florida, to schedule an appointment with one of our seizure specialists.