Epilepsy: Myths that surround it

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Epilepsy: Myths that surround it

What is Epilepsy? 

Epilepsy is a chronic disease that causes recurrent seizures. It is a neurological disorder which affects the brain activity causing sensations, seizures, loss of awareness and periods of unusual behavior.

What is Epileptic Seizure?

An epileptic seizure is a disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

Seizures are an occurrence of electrical activity in the brain. Generally, seizures can be of two types – generalized seizures and focal seizures. Both halves (hemisphere) of the brain is affected in generalized seizures, whereas in focal seizures, only one part of the brain is affected.

Who Gets Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages. Epilepsy is a disease that can affect any person irrespective of gender, race, age and ethnic background. Epilepsy is a common disorder that affects about 65 million people all over the globe. Young children and old people are more susceptible to this disease.

How epilepsy is diagnosed?

To figure out if you have epilepsy and what type you have, your doctor will do some or all of these diagnostics tests like Blood tests, EEG (lectroencephalogram), MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging ), fMRI (Functional MRI), PET Scan (Positron emission tomography), and other neuropsychological tests like testing your thinking, speech, and memory skills to see if those areas of your brain have been affected by seizures.

What are some common myths and facts about epilepsy?

Due to lack of knowledge about this disease, there are a lot of myths about epilepsy in people’s mind. Here is a list of some myths about epilepsy and facts contracting contradicting these myths.

Myth – Epilepsy is a communicable disease.

Fact – Epilepsy is a neurological disorder, and in no condition, it can be spread from one person to another. People who have epilepsy do not possess any threat to those living around them.

Myth – Epilepsy is a genetic disease.

Fact – Epilepsy can affect anyone at any point of time in life. While some people are suffering from this disease by birth, others develop epilepsy without any apparent cause. It is fully possible that one of the parents have epilepsy, and the child may never develop it, and no one in the family has epilepsy, but still, the child gets diagnosed with it.

Myth – Epilepsy is not curable.

Fact – A lot of people wonder can epilepsy be cured? While others believe that there is no cure for epilepsy. The truth is that surgery, proper diet, medications and other therapies can help in reducing or completely eliminating seizures from people suffering from epilepsy. Epileptic patients can live a fully productive life with proper treatment.

Myth – Having seizures means having epilepsy.

Fact – Epilepsy is not the only reason for seizures, or in other words, seizures cannot always be linked with epilepsy. There can be a number of other reasons for seizures such as head injury, high body temperature and binge drinking. However, if a person has suffered two or more unprovoked seizures, there are high chances of that person to be diagnosed with epilepsy.

Myth – Epilepsy can affect intelligence.

Fact – According to medical science, people who have epilepsy have the same intelligence level as possess by a healthy human being. However, if the seizures are more frequent and have high intensity, it can affect the learning ability of an epileptic patient.

Myth – Epileptic patients cannot marry nor have kids.

Fact – It is fully possible for an epileptic patient to get married if both partners are agreed to do so. They can live a normal and happy married life. When it comes to pregnancy, epileptic women are fully able to conceive. They just need to take proper pre-conception counseling as it helps them to eliminate any complication that can occur during pregnancy.

Myth – People with epilepsy sometimes swallow their own tongue during a seizure.

Fact – Epileptic patients may bite their tongue at the time of seizure but swallowing the tongue is simply impossible!

Myth – Epilepsy is caused by supernatural powers or evil spirits.

Fact – From villages to town, a lot of people believe that Epilepsy is a ghostly thing and seizures happen because an evil spirit has entered into the body of the affected person. Epilepsy is a medical condition that affects the brain so it should be treated by epileptologists, neurologists or physicians.

Myth – One should force something in the mouth of a person having a seizure.

Fact – A person should never put anything in the mouth of an epileptic patient having a seizure as it may lead to injury. During seizures, most of people get unconscious, so they are incapable of handling any foreign object in their mouth.

Author’s Note

People should not believe in these myths and be aware of the facts of this disease. With proper medical assistance and support from the family and friends, a person can fight epilepsy and lead a normal life.

If you or someone in you know shows the signs of epilepsy, you should consult a Neurologist near you who can help diagnose the condition and determine the cause of seizures. Accurate diagnosis of your seizure type and where seizures begin gives you the best chance for finding an effective treatment.

Book an appointment to consult the best doctor for Epilepsy treatment in Lucknow at Midland Healthcare now!

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