February 10th is World Epilepsy Day, and The Economic Times talked about some of the misconceptions surrounding this disorder. They’re important to know about because sometimes parents mistake seizures in their children as epilepsy. While epilepsy can be caused by a birth injury, there are other factors to consider like genetics.
Epilepsy comes in many forms, but the key condition is that there are two or more unprovoked seizures due to a chronic underlying condition. A child can have a single seizure caused by an injury or some other acute trauma. It is not caused by mental illness.
Another difference is that when seizures aren’t happening, people with epilepsy are completely normal. Modern medications can cure epilepsy 70% of the time, so it has a good prognosis.
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However, people need to know what to do when a seizure happens. There are old practices still used that are quite dangerous, like putting something in their mouth. The belief is that the person with the seizure will bite their tongue otherwise. However, the risk of choking on the object is far greater.
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Another is that the trembling needs to be restrained. This is not the case. Instead, move things out of the way and, if possible, put something soft under their head. Most seizures last 1-2 minutes, but if one happens then you should call for medical attention to check for the source of the seizure, especially if it’s the first time.