Even though someone has epilepsy, it doesn’t mean that they cannot participate in the same activities that others who do not have epilepsy can do. If the person’s seizures are well- controlled, they will most likely be able to do the things that they enjoy. On the other hand, if the person’s seizure disorder is not controlled enough to the point where it can restrict them from doing certain activities, their activities are very limited. Seizure control highly influence the risk- benefit decisions. People who have epilepsy should take precautions when doing activities such as driving. Activities such as swimming and riding a bike can be done with precautions.
Prevention Of Seizure- Related Injuries
For the most part, seizures do not cause serious physical injury. Serious injuries can happen with tonic- clonic seizures, tonic seizures, or atonic seizures. During these attacks, the person can get cuts, bruises, bone fractures, chipped teeth, sprained joints, or dislocated shoulders. People who have frequent seizures that cause a loss of consciousness should be careful in the kitchen and any other rooms that have dangerous furniture in them in case they hit their heads.
Prevention is the best strategy for avoiding seizures. It is best to know what your triggers are and try best not to get into situations or do anything that may cause a seizure to occur. With regards to cooking, people who have frequent, uncontrolled seizures, it may be safe to use a microwave oven or putting guards around an open flame. Other things to take into consideration are carpeting the bathroom, putting a temperature monitor on shower heads, lowering the temperature on the water heater, putting guards around the radiator, using a laundry for clothes that need to be ironed, avoiding electric carving knives and slicing machines, and living in a single- story house or a ground floor apartment complex to prevent falling down the stairs.
Seizure- Alert Dogs
Dogs are capable of detecting whether or not a person is having a seizure. The dog will alert its owner or others by whining, pawing, and in other ways. This behavior warns the person and others that a seizure might occur. It is possible that dogs can detect some changes that warns them that a seizure is going to happen soon.
Motor Vehicle Driving
To obtain a driver’s license, a person who has epilepsy must be free of seizures that can affect consciousness and motor control for a certain amount of time and the person must bring in a doctor’s statement of opinion saying it is safe for that person to drive. The period of time that a person must be seizure free varies from state- to- state, from six months to a year.
In all other aspects of life, people with epilepsy can live a fairly normal and independent life. They can have children, play sports (that’s only if their seizures are controlled enough to participate in the sports), pursue romantic relationships, and many more.
Source: “Epilepsy: Patient And Family Guide” by Orrin Devinsky, MD