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Busting the Myths about Epilepsy


Epilepsy affects more than 3 million Americans. This neurological disorder mostly affects teenagers and people over the age of 65. The condition is often misunderstood due to the misconceptions about it. Amor Mehta MD asserts that the resulting confusion and misinformation can be harmful to a patient.

 It is vital to deconstruct the myths about the condition to help better understand the disease. 

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the nervous system, making you have recurrent seizures. The condition makes you have abnormal brain activity due to the misfiring of nerves in the brain cells which causes a temporary disturbance in sensory, mental, and motor functions. There are various types of seizures.

Types of Seizures

There are various types of seizures depending on which part of the brain has been affected.

  •   Clonic: Clonic seizures cause muscle jerking due to spasms.
  •   Tonic: Tonic seizures cause tension in your muscles.
  •   Tonic-clonic: This is the most common type of seizure. You will experience various involuntary movements including shaking, jerking, and stiffening, and the attack can last for 1-3 minutes. 
  •   Atonic: These seizures cause muscle numbness. When struck by this seizure, you may drop items that were in your hands or fall if you were standing.
  •   Myoclonic: If you suffer from a myoclonic seizure, you will exhibit similar signs with a person who has suffered an electric shock. A myoclonic seizure can affect one, or a group of muscles.

Myth 1. Epilepsy is Uncontrollable

There is false information that epilepsy is uncontrollable. While the condition can vary from one patient to another, and the frequency of attacks can be unpredictable, advances in medicine make it possible for your doctor to help control the disease. Your doctor at Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures provides individualized epilepsy care that benefits you most. 

Epilepsy can cause you to exhibit strange or bizarre behavior including screaming, mumbling, and slurred speech. A seizure affects both your physical and psychological functions, and one can mistake an attack for being drunk.

Lifestyle changes, seeking treatment, and support can help improve your quality of life if you live with epilepsy.

Myth 2. You Should Hold a Person Down During a Seizure

It is critical for you to know what to do when someone experiences an epileptic attack so that your response can be appropriate. Most people believe that it helps to hold down a person who has had a convulsive seizure. However, you should not restrain a person who has had an epileptic attack. You should remain calm, take note of when the seizure starts, and support their head using a soft material to avoid injury. Stay with the victim and help them recover after the attack.

Myth3. Flickering Lights Cannot Trigger a Seizure

We all have a seizure threshold, which can be triggered by a change in contrast in some people. Flickering lights can trigger photosensitive seizures. Men are more prone to photosensitive seizures than women.  

If you or a loved one have epilepsy, there is hope. Visit your experienced physician today to learn how your condition can be managed.