The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that about 50 million people have epilepsy. A huge percentage of these people are from middle- or low-income nations. The primary symptom of epilepsy is constant seizures. These occur when the brain’s electrical activity surges and affects the rest of the body. Even though dealing with epilepsy is a big challenge, the stigma surrounding the condition gets bigger every day. Therefore, the best way to manage stigma is by educating people about the facts about epilepsy. Let us look at the common myths and the facts.
Epilepsy is contagious
Many people still believe that epilepsy is contagious, which is untrue. Considering the cause of epilepsy is still unknown, it cannot be considered contagious. More than 50% of cases have unknown causes, meaning more research is required on the subject. However, some risk factors include brain injury, stroke, brain infections, brain tumors, brain damage at birth, etc.
Having seizures means you are epileptic
Seizure is a symptom of epilepsy, but that does not mean that it is the only condition that causes seizures. Some conditions like low blood sugar levels, electrical shock, brain injury, and low sodium levels can also cause brain injury. Therefore, having a seizure does not mean that a patient has epilepsy. Still, if you have two seizures within 24 hours, you should consult the best neurologists in Mumbai or other locations for epilepsy and other conditions. The specialists can conduct a thorough examination to come up with the diagnosis.
People with epilepsy are mentally ill
The stigma surrounding epilepsy includes theories about people with this condition being emotionally unstable. Even though epilepsy is associated with anxiety and depression, it is wrong to say that people with this condition are mentally ill. Dealing with frequent seizures that can strike anytime can be unsettling, but those with epilepsy learn to live with the condition and make necessary adjustments to their lifestyle. Seizures can be controlled through medication or monotherapy.
Epilepsy cannot be treated
Currently, epilepsy is incurable, but it does not mean that it cannot be treated. Managing symptoms of epilepsy and the condition is still a challenge. However, the various treatment methods can make a difference to the patient and help them live longer. The best neurologist doctors in Mumbai aim to manage the seizures to avoid sudden complications which may be fatal.
People with epilepsy are unable to work
It is one of the biggest myths about epilepsy, especially among those who believe it is a disability. People on seizure medication can work normally and not have problems at work. The only time a person with a seizure is not allowed to work is when their seizures may endanger people around them.
Epileptic seizures are painful
Seizures are not painful and someone getting hurt when having an episode is very rare. A seizure causes someone to be unconscious, and they may not realize they are in pain. Most pain reports are associated with side effects of the seizure. It could either be hitting something when they fall or injuring some muscles when having an attack.
If someone is having a seizure, put something in their mouth
Most people believe it needs to be done to prevent people with seizures from swallowing their tongues. However, it is untrue, and family or friends should not do this when a loved one has a seizure. Inserting things into the mouth can cause further injury. Instead, roll the individual on one side and protect them from any objects that can injure them. You can place a pillow or soft pad under their head to prevent head injury when hitting the ground. Stay at a distance until the seizure runs its course and call for immediate help.
People with epilepsy cannot live a normal life
Although epilepsy affects the quality and way of life, it does not stop someone from living a full life. The leading neurologists advise people with epilepsy in Mumbai to live life moderately. It involves avoiding extreme lifestyles that may put them in danger. Before doing anything, ask yourself whether you can hurt yourself or other people if you have a seizure. People who are not under any medication should be very cautious or avoid such activities.
During a seizure, a person can swallow their tongue
The human tongue cannot be swallowed even when someone has a seizure attack. However, a person with epilepsy can bite their tongue, causing injuries to it. In addition, the tongue could roll back to cause airway obstruction and respiratory distress.
Everyone with an epileptic seizure convulses
Seizures differ from person to person. Some may cause a person to faint and have convulsions from the body, stiffening and jerking uncontrollably. Other seizures cause brief spells making a person blink rapidly and stare off. Some also experience tingling in their hands.
Awareness about epilepsy can help educate the masses about what it feels like to have the condition. It will help people care for their loved ones without judgment. Understanding the facts about epilepsy can also help affected individuals seek treatment. If you have a friend or family member with severe seizures, you can take them for treatment to help with their condition.