Epilepsy Management Goes Beyond Medication

Taking your epilepsy medications is an important part of epilepsy management. However, living well with epilepsy means that you will need to do more than take your medications regularly.

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Manage lifestyle and wellness
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Build your epilepsy IQ
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Improve your quality of life
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Live safely with epilepsy
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Create a community of support

Self-management of epilepsy is an important part of your care. Self-management means taking responsibility for your own behavior and well-being. It also means managing your own day-to-day health. Ask your doctor about epilepsy self-management programs they know about. A few can be found here.

Building Your Epilepsy IQ

Building your epilepsy IQ means learning about all the ways that epilepsy affects your life. Each of us is unique, so epilepsy affects everyone differently.

What is most important about how epilepsy affects your life? By thinking about what is most important to you, you can start to develop self-management skills to help manage your seizures. The goal of epilepsy self-management is to live the best life possible while managing the disease.

Let's start with some common epilepsy terms to help build your epilepsy IQ and self-management skills.

Below are two terms to get started, but more commonly used terms can be found here.

Recognizing an Aura

An aura:

  • Is a warning sign that some people may have before a seizure
  • Does not happen to everyone with epilepsy
  • Can be hard to describe for those who have them
  • Can be a change in feeling, sensation, thought, or behavior

If you have an aura, it could be the same each time you have a seizure, or it could be one of the warning signs mentioned. An aura may actually be a seizure for some people with epilepsy.

For some people, auras show up as physical changes before a seizure:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Headache
  • Feeling sick to your stomach
  • Numbness or tingling in a part of the body

Breakthrough Seizure

This happens when you've been in control of your seizures for some time and then suddenly you have a seizure. Some possible causes are:

  • Not taking treatment as prescribed
  • Infection
  • High stress
  • Not enough sleep
  • Flashing lights