Medical ID for Epilepsy
People who discover they have epilepsy may find it difficult to deal with at first, but the right treatment and knowledge of how to handle it can make life far easier. One of the first steps to perhaps consider investing in an epilepsy medical ID, so that others can be informed of an individual's condition and possibly better able to help.
What is epilepsy?
It is a condition currently defined by Epilepsy Action as a tendency to have seizures or fits on a recurring basis. Fits are caused by a build up of electric energy in the brain, which causes temporary disruption in normal messages passing between brain cells and this leads to a mix-up in these messages. Because the brain controls the body's functions, it also dictates what will happen in the event of a seizure. Depending on whereabouts in the brain the epileptic activity starts can determine how fast and how far it a seizure spreads. Epilepsy Action noted that there many types of seizure and each individual with the condition "will experience epilepsy in a way that is unique to them".
What causes epilepsy?
The roots of the condition can originate for a number of reasons. In some cases, the reason is clear, such as brain damage from a difficult birth or an infection in that part of the body, like meningitis. When it is due to recognisable factors, it is known as symptomatic epilepsy. However, six out ten people have what is called idiopathic epilepsy, which means there is no known cause for the condition.
Writing for BBC Online, Dr Matthew Walker suggested that having epilepsy can be easier than many people may think and does not mean living with a debilitating condition.
The key is to manage it well and understanding lifestyle triggers than can induce a fit. For example, flashing lights from a television are one such factor. When a newsreader or presenter warns of flash photography in a film, it is for that reason. Other manageable elements including making sure of getting enough sleep and avoiding recreational drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.
Furthermore, those with the condition should get regular exercise to help boost their health, including swimming, but it is wise to not only inform a pool attendant but also have someone who can deal with the effects.
Reasons like these may mean investing in epilepsy jewellery is a sensible decision so that people can quickly respond to an individual's needs in a crisis. Dr Walker also discussed what a sufferer should do in the home to prevent any additional problems in the event of a seizure and they are incredibly simple to adopt. Issues such as opting for showers rather baths, putting guards around the fireplace or cookers and even using a microwave instead of an oven to increase safety and avoid having a seizure turn into a another dangerous problem out of the individual's control.
In the workplace, those with epilepsy may think it wise to inform both bosses and work colleagues of how the symptoms can take hold and how they should react. This is perhaps a compelling case for purchasing epilepsy medical alert jewellery.
Furthermore, there are entitlements for those with the condition including free prescriptions and discounted transport to help get around. Indeed, epileptics can still drive a vehicle if they have not had a seizure in six months, but must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority.
Although, as Epilepsy Action commented, around 70 per cent of people with the condition have their seizures "controlled", it could be worthwhile to invest in some from of epilepsy alert bracelet, so that people who may not be immediately aware of a person's medical situation might be able to take appropriate action.
Anyone who would like further information and advice about epilepsy and how to deal with the condition should check out the Epilepsy Action website.