Living with Epilepsy

GENERAL EPILEPSY
PREVENTING & MANAGING EPILEPSY

I’ve Just Had Epilepsy for the First Time What Do I Do?

About 1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime. Having your first-time seizure can be a frightening experience for the individual and others involved. Knowing what to do can help.

First time seizures need to be evaluated by a healthcare provider to determine if the episode was a seizure and to investigate the cause. Do not drive until you speak with a physician and get information about your medical fitness to safely operate a motor vehicle.

A healthcare provider will ask what you remember about the episode. What happened before it began and at the onset? What do you recall about the seizure? If there are parts that you do not remember, a witness may be able to fill-in other details such as how long the seizure lasted, what it looked like and what happened when it ended.

Make sure to ask questions regarding anything you are concerned about before leaving the emergency room or clinic.

Some possible questions are:
  • Can the cause be determined?
  • What is my seizure plan if a second seizure occurs?
  • What sorts of safety precautions should I take?

You may need to have some diagnostic tests and a follow-up appointment with your family doctor or a neurologist. Ask if there is a first seizure clinic in your region.

What Information Should I Bring to My First Medical Appointment?

Living with epilepsy. A sufferer discussing their epilepsy with a doctor.

Take note of what happened during the seizure – how long it lasted, what happened before and after, what it looked like, and any other details you feel are relevant. You might need to ask someone else for help if you don’t remember all of it.

Write down some questions you want to ask your doctor – anything you are concerned, unsure, or curious about.

If you’re not sure what to ask, here are some suggestions:
  • What kind of seizure did I have?
  • How will this affect my ability to drive/work/travel?
  • Will I have to start taking medications? Which ones and why?
  • What sorts of things will I need to adjust in my life (home/work/school) in order to keep myself safe?

What Information Should I Bring to My First Medical Appointment?

Living with epilepsy. A sufferer discussing their epilepsy with a doctor.

Take note of what happened during the seizure – how long it lasted, what happened before and after, what it looked like, and any other details you feel are relevant. You might need to ask someone else for help if you don’t remember all of it.

Write down some questions you want to ask your doctor – anything you are concerned, unsure, or curious about.

If you’re not sure what to ask, here are some suggestions:
  • What kind of seizure did I have?
  • How will this affect my ability to drive/work/travel?
  • Will I have to start taking medications? Which ones and why?
  • What sorts of things will I need to adjust in my life (home/work/school) in order to keep myself safe?

If I Have Not Had a Seizure for Many Years Does That Mean I Still Suffer From Epilepsy?

If someone is taking anti-seizure medication to control their seizures, they are considered to have active epilepsy.

The International League Against Epilepsy considers epilepsy to be resolved for individuals with an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome who are past the applicable age or if the individual has been seizure-free for 10 years and off medication for at least the last five years.

If I Have Not Had a Seizure for Many Years Does That Mean I Still Suffer From Epilepsy?

If someone is taking anti-seizure medication to control their seizures, they are considered to have active epilepsy.

The International League Against Epilepsy considers epilepsy to be resolved for individuals with an age-dependent epilepsy syndrome who are past the applicable age or if the individual has been seizure-free for 10 years and off medication for at least the last five years.

What Triggers Seizures?

Triggers vary from person to person.

Some people living with epilepsy are able to very clearly identify situations that trigger a seizure, while others are unable to find a pattern to their seizures.

A common way to identify seizure triggers is to keep a seizure record that includes tracking what happens before each seizure.

Common triggers include:
  • Missed doses of anti-seizure medication (most common trigger)
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue
  • Stress or excitation
  • Photosensitivity / flashing lights or contrasting patterns

  • Alcohol
  • Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
  • Colds, flu or some kinds of infection

  • Elevated body temperature

What Triggers Seizures?

Triggers vary from person to person.

Some people with epilepsy are able to very clearly identify situations that trigger a seizure, while others are unable to find a pattern to their seizures.

A common way to identify seizure triggers is to keep a seizure record that includes tracking what happens before each seizure.

Triggers vary from person to person.

Some people with epilepsy are able to very clearly identify situations that trigger a seizure, while others are unable to find a pattern to their seizures.

A common way to identify seizure triggers is to keep a seizure record that includes tracking what happens before each seizure.

Common triggers include:
  • Missed doses of anti-seizure medication (most common trigger)
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue
  • Stress or excitation
  • Photosensitivity / flashing lights or contrasting patterns

  • Alcohol
  • Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
  • Colds, flu or some kinds of infection

  • Elevated body temperature

What Triggers Seizures?

Triggers vary from person to person.

Some people with epilepsy are able to very clearly identify situations that trigger a seizure, while others are unable to find a pattern to their seizures.

A common way to identify seizure triggers is to keep a seizure record that includes tracking what happens before each seizure.

Common triggers include:
  • Missed doses of anti-seizure medication (most common trigger)
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue
  • Stress or excitation
  • Photosensitivity / flashing lights or contrasting patterns

  • Alcohol
  • Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
  • Colds, flu or some kinds of infection

  • Elevated body temperature

What Are the Side Effects of Epilepsy?

The most common side effects include:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo

  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Ataxia
  • Double Vision
  • Stress
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Tremor

What Are the Side Effects of Epilepsy?

The most common side effects include:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo

  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Ataxia
  • Double Vision
  • Stress
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Tremor

What Are the Side Effects of Epilepsy?

The most common side effects include:
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Vertigo

  • Weight gain
  • Blurred vision
  • Poor co-ordination
  • Ataxia
  • Double Vision
  • Stress
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Tremor

I Have Epilepsy. Can I Drive?

A person with epilepsy is usually eligible for a driver’s licence if they have been seizure-free (on or off medication) for the past one year, have no side effects of medication that would impair driving and are under regular medical supervision.

Can I Take Part in Sports or Other Vigorous Activities?

In most cases, the answer is yes, although a lot depends on the degree of seizure control, the type of sport, and what the doctor recommends. Research suggests that people are likely to have fewer seizures when actively occupied.

What Kind of Seizures Are There?

There at least 49 known types of epileptic seizures

DOWNLOAD FREE LEAFLET

Absence epilepsy seizures account for 2-4 percent of epilepsy. They are characterized by brief episodes of staring, usually lasting only 2-10 seconds and may happen repeatedly during the day. There is no warning before a seizure and the person is completely alert afterwards, with no memory of it. Because they are so mild, you might not even realize you had one and it’s easily not noticed by those around you.

During a clonic seizure, you may lose control of bodily functions and begin jerking rhythmically in various parts of your body. Consciousness may be temporarily lost and followed by confusion. Clonic seizures begin in early childhood. With time, clonic seizures may eventually progress to generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

Partial (focal) seizures occur when this electrical activity remains in a limited area of the brain. The seizures can sometimes turn into generalized seizures, which affect the whole brain. This is called secondary generalization.

Partial seizures can be divided into:
• Simple, not affecting awareness or memory (focal aware seizure)
• Complex, affecting awareness or memory of events before, during, and immediately after the seizure, and affecting behaviour.

You will probably give out a short cry and fall to the floor. Your muscles will stiffen during the tonic phase and then, during the clonic phase your extremities will jerk and twitch. Often you will lose consciousness, stop breathing or have difficulty breathing, turn blue and lose bladder control which in not uncommon, but extremely embarrassing.

Afterwards, you may feel tired, confused and disorientated. This may last from 5 minutes to several hours or even days. Rarely, this disorientation may last up to 2 weeks. You may asleep, or gradually become less confused until full consciousness is regained

May produce weakness or inability to use certain muscles, including those that govern speech. Frontal lobe seizures may involve thrashing movements during sleep, also stiffening with the head turned to one side and the arm rising into a brief frozen state. Some seizures may be dramatic and upsetting to others, with screaming, bicycling movements of the legs, running. Treatment is with medication, and, in some cases, surgery.

Eclampsia is a severe complication of preeclampsia. It’s a rare but serious condition where high blood pressure results in seizures during pregnancy. Seizures are periods of disturbed brain activity that can cause episodes of staring, decreased alertness, and convulsions (violent shaking).

Some simple partial seizures consist of a sensory experience. People with sensor seizures may smell or taste things that aren’t there, hear clicking, ringing, or aperson’s voice when there is no actual sound. You may also see lights, hear a buzzing sound, or feel tingling or numbness in a part of the body.

Simple partial seizures usually last just a few seconds, although they may be longer. If there are no convulsions, they may not be obvious to those around you.

While epilepsy is commonly accompanied by dizziness or vertigo, vertigo is only rarely caused by epilepsy. This arises primarily because vertigo is much more commonly caused by ear conditions.

Epileptic vertigoisdue to brain injury, typically the part of the temporal lobe that processes vestibular signals. Loss of consciousness usually occurs at the time of injury. The typical symptom is “quick spins”.

These seizures begin in one part of the brain, either as a simple partial seizure (last less than one minute and the person may show different symptoms depending upon which area of the brain is involved) or complex partial (commonly occur in the temporal lobe of the brain), and then spread to involve both sides of the brain where consciousness is lost.

Clinically, it looks exactly like a generalized tonic clonic seizure (when a burst of electrical energy sweeps through the whole brain at once, causing a loss of consciousness, falls, and convulsions).

A rare inherited (genetic) disorder in which the structure that connects the two sides of the brain (corpus callosum) is partly or completely missing.

Children with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (or Microplasia) feel that their body is changing, because of migraines and headaches. They don’t just see themselves changing in size, though, but they also see other people, animals and objects look larger or smaller than they actually are. They can also feel thattheir hearing and sense of touch have changed.

Also known as Benign Partial Epilepsy of Children, it accounts for more than one-third of epilepsy beginning in middle childhood between ages 3 and 13. Seizures usually occur infrequently in children, as generalized nocturnal seizures characterized by a variety of minor tonic-clonic movements and often affect only one side of the face. A typical attack involves twitching, numbness, or tingling of the child’s face or tongue (a partial seizure), which often interferes with speech and may cause drooling There’s a jerking of the corner of the mouth that may spread to the

7rest of that side of the face, causing a twisting motion. The childusually does not lose consciousness, except in cases of secondarily generalized seizures of this type. In rare cases, the seizure may progress to encompass the entire side of the body, becoming a generalized tonic-clonic condition. Seizures typically occur at night and these children are otherwise normal and healthy. The prognosis is favorable with 95% of children outgrowing their seizures by age 15.

Complex partial or temporal lobe seizures begins with a blank look or empty stare. You may be unaware of your surroundings and seem dazed and confused. The seizure may progress to include chewing movements, mumbling, uncoordinated activity, or sometimes performing meaningless bits of behaviour, which appear random and clumsy. These may include picking at

8your clothes, trying to remove them, walking about aimlessly, picking up things, or mumbling. Following the seizure, there will be no memory of it. A complex partial seizure usually lasts about 2 to 4 minutes. It may be followed by a longer lasting confusion.

These are usually tonic-clonic. They might occur just after a person has fallen asleep, just before waking, during daytime sleep, or while in a state of drowsiness.

People who experience nocturnal seizures may find it difficult to wake up or to stay awake.

Although unaware of having had a seizure while asleep, they may arise with a headache; have temper tantrums, or other destructive behaviour throughout the day

Also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI), is a severe form of epilepsy. It appears during the first year of life with frequent febrile seizures –fever-related seizures that, are rare beyond age 5. Children with Dravet syndrome typically experience poor development of language and motor skills, hyperactivity, and difficulty relating to others.

Also called Dostoyevsky’s Epilepsy, are a type of seizure activity that is characterized by feelings of ecstasy or transcendent joy. Mystical, spiritual, and hallucinatory experiences often occur as well. The temporal lobe is effected by the seizure activity and provides a neural basisfor these experiences.These seizures can involve more than one seizure symptom, such as tonic-clonic, tonic & more.

These seizures are both unpredictableand unprovoked by the person’s surroundings. They are abrupt in onset and quickly over. They may occur nocturnally, waking you from sleep and leaving you exhausted. Basically, they are characterized by brief outbursts of emotion, usually in the form of a laugh or a cry. They may be accompanied by forced eye movements, chewing or grinding the teeth, tonic posturing, and clonic jerking. You may appear confused and/or dazed during and after an episode. Gelastic seizures usually last 5 to 60 seconds and you may remember them clearly or may be completely unaware of what occurred.

Is a severe form of epilepsy, characterized by seizures and progressive neurological degeneration. It occurs during late childhood or early adolescence. Death usually occurs within 10 years of the first symptoms.
Also a rare disorder beginning between ages of 3 and 7. Produces seizures and affects speech. Children develop normal speech, and then slowly lose it. Simple partial and tonic clonic seizures. Treated with antiepileptic drugs to control seizures, and, possibly, steroids.

Limbic areas are regions in the temporal and frontal lobes, which are involved with memory and emotion and this is a seizure happening in this area.

While most seizures can be neatly split into partial and generalized, there exists some that don’t fit. For example: the seizure may be generalized only within one hemisphere. Alternatively there may be many focal points (multifocal seizures) that are distributed in a symmetrical or asymmetrical pattern.

Certain types of music or even specific frequencies of pitch for which your brain has a low threshold or tolerance trigger this reflex epilepsy.

They usually involve a degree of cognitive or emotional appreciation of the stimulus. This usually results in a complex partial seizure, but may also induce others, such as tonic-clonic seizures. Sensitivity to music varies from person to person.

Some people are sensitive to a particular tone from a voice or instrument. Others are sensitive to a particular musical style or rhythm. Still others are sensitive to a range of noises.

A rare, form of epilepsy with myoclonic (jerking) and tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures. Children with this condition may have trouble with maintaining balance and experience rigid muscles. There is also a loss of mental ability

Also known as pseudo seizures, they are not due to epilepsy. Psychogenic seizures can occur at any age, but are more common in people under the age of 55.

They occur three times more frequently in women than men.

They may arise from various psychological factors, may be prompted by stress, and may occur in response to suggestion.

Some individuals with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures may have previously experienced trauma, such assexual abuse.

Also called Chronic Focal Encephalitis (CFE). This is a rare, progressive neurological disorder, which affects one half of the brain, producing severe seizures, loss of motor control and speech along with paralysis on one side of the body, inflammation ofthe brain and dementia.

This type of seizure is seen when certain medications, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, are stopped abruptly.

In this case, continued treatment with antiepileptic medications is usually not advisable. Withdrawal seizures are common when a person with alcoholism is trying to quit drinking.

If a person with epilepsy drinks alcohol heavily and experiences withdrawal seizures, it is difficult for the physician or specialist to determine the exact cause of the seizure and to determine the next appropriate step. Therefore, it is important to avoid alcoholic beverages once you begin taking antiepileptic medications.

Tonic seizures are characterised by facial and muscle spasms of your trunk, flexing or reaching of your upper and lower extremities, and impaired consciousness. Several types of tonic seizures exist. The more prolonged seizures usually are convulsive and may manifest dilation of your pupils, tachycardia, apnoea, a bluish tinge to your skin, salivation, and the loss of bladder or bowel control. Tonic seizures are often followed by postictal confusion.

A partial (focal) seizure happens when unusual electrical activity affects a small area of the brain.

When the seizure does not affect awareness, it is known as a simple partial seizure. Simple partial seizures can be affecting the muscles of the body, affecting the senses, affecting automatically controlled functions and affecting feelings or thoughts. Simple focal seizures are also known as auras.

Symptoms of simple partial seizures are: Muscle tightening, Unusual head movements, Blank stares, Eyes moving from side to side, Numbness, Tingling, Skin crawling (like ants crawling on the skin), Hallucinations-seeing, smelling, or hearing things that are not there, Pain or discomfort and Nausea.

A type of epilepsy causing focal seizures beginning in the temporal lobe area of the brain.

One or both lobes may be affected. There may be
18an aura warning sign before aseizure, but not everyone will experience this.

Temporal lobe epilepsy may cause either simple partial seizures without loss of awareness or complex partial seizures with a loss of awareness.

Without warning, a person will abruptly loses consciousness, collapse and fall to the floor. Your head may drop suddenly, your eyelids may droop, your head may nod, and you may drop things. Recovery occurs after a few seconds. You regain consciousness, and can again stand and walk.

Children aged 3 months to 5 years may have febrile seizures when they have a high fever. This occurs in only 2% to 5% of all children. A febrile seizure is usually mild and brief, often resulting in a slight slumping and loss of consciousness, or a rolling of the eyes back in the head. Sometimes there may be

9convulsive stiffening and jerking, but there is no need to panic. Protect the child from sharp, hot, or otherwise dangerous objects. Loosen tight clothing. Do not put anything in the child’s mouth. Do not restrict his/her movements. Roll the child on his/her side and try to keep everyone relaxed.

May be more threatening. They can last longer than 15 minutes and although only one side of the body is affected during a complex febrile seizure, neurological reports may indicate abnormalities.Febrile seizures pose no threat of mental retardation, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, or death.

The incidence of febrile seizures does not indicate a possibility of developing long-term epilepsy. Febrile seizures are classed as incidents rather than as a condition.

In this reflex condition, seizures are produced by particular visual patterns. These triggers may consist of circles, stripes, or other patterns, usually of high contrast. Moving patterns are most likely to incite a seizure.

These are usually tonic-clonic. They might occur just after a person has fallen asleep, just before waking, during daytime sleep, or while in a state of drowsiness. People who experience nocturnal seizures may find it difficult to wake up or to stay awake. Although unaware of having had a seizure while asleep, they may arise with a headache; have temper tantrums, or other destructive behaviour throughout the day.

The person will stare (as they would in any absence seizure) but often is somewhat responsive. You may experience eye blinking or slight jerking movements of the lips.

Neonatal seizures occur in babies soon after birth. As many as 1.5 to 2.5% of newborns have seizures in the first month of life.

A further 20% of all seizures in children under 3 years of age have neonatal seizures. They’re generally classified as subtle, clonic, tonic, and myoclonic.

Subtle attacks are characterised by apnoeas with episodes of pallor, fixed staring, deviation of one or both eyes, eye blink, motor changes, episodic chewing movements, or stereotypic limb movements such as swimming or bicycling motions. Drooling and unusual alertness may accompany neonatal seizures.

Usually, most neonatal seizures occur over only a few days and fewer than half of affected infants develop seizures later in life.

This is a type of reflex epilepsy in which seizures are provoked by loud noises or sudden surprises.

Most patients with startle epilepsy are only sensitive to one sensory modality (i.e. temperature, taste, sound, pressure); however, it is the unexpected nature of the stimulus, rather than the sensory modality, that characterizes startle epilepsy.

These seizures usually last less than 30 seconds. The seizure begins with a startle response, followed by a brief tonic phase.

Patients sometimes fall to the ground and experience clonic jerks. Responsiveness to the stimulus decreases as a result of repeated exposure to the stimulus. Spontaneous seizures also occur in patients with startle epilepsy, but are infrequent in most cases.

People with startle epilepsy usually have static cerebral lesions and developmental delay. For many people, half of the body is partially paralysed and it is the weak side of the body that is primarily involved in thestartle seizures.

Startle epilepsy is often associated with disorders such as Down syndrome and cortical dysplastic lesions.

If you have photosensitive epilepsy, certain types of flickering or flashing light may incite a seizure.

The trigger could be exposure to television screens due to the flicker or rolling images, computer monitors, certain video games or TV broadcasts containing rapid flashes, even alternating patterns of different colours, in addition to intense strobe lights.

And surprisingly, seizures may be triggered by natural light, such as sunlight, especially when shimmering off water, even sun flickering through trees or through the slats of Venetian blinds.

Seizures may develop immediately after an injury to the brain or may develop in delayed fashion, showing up months or years after the initial trauma.

Generally speaking, the risk of post traumatic seizures is related to the severity of the injury. The greater the injury, the higher the risk of developing seizures. Even mild to moderate injuries can result in seizures.

Seizures may develop immediately after an injury to the brain or may develop in delayed fashion, showing up months or years after the initial trauma.

Generally speaking, the risk of post traumatic seizures is related to the severity of the injury. The greater the injury, the higher the risk of developing seizures. Even mild to moderate injuries can result in seizures.

Status epilepticus is defined as:

•Continuous seizure activity for 5 minutes or more without return of consciousness, or

•Recurrent seizures (2 or more) without an intervening period of neurological recovery

These seizures are accompanied by autonomic symptoms or signs, such as abdominal discomfort or nausea which may rise into the throat, stomach pain, the rumbling sounds of gas moving in the intestines belching, flatulence and vomiting. This has sometimes been referred to as abdominal epilepsy. Other symptoms may include pallor, flushing, sweating, hair standing on end, dilation of the pupils, alterations in heart rate and respiration, and urination. A few people may experience sexual arousal, penile erection, and orgasm.

Catamenial epilepsy (CE), also known as menstrual seizures, is linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle and related hormone levels in the body. Women with CE often have more seizures during certain times of their cycle. This may include:•Just before or during menstruation, or period.•During ovulation, the time during the cycle when an egg moves from the ovary and can be fertilized.Women with CE will generally have seizures throughout their cycle. However, the number of seizures will often increase during a certain time.

This is the most common cause of intractable epilepsy in children and is a frequent cause of epilepsy in adults. Focal cortical dysplasias (FCD) are localized regions of malformed cerebral cortex. They are a common cause offocal seizures. Onset of seizures can be at any age, with two thirds having seizure onset by 5 years of age and most patients having seizure onset by 16 years. Older age of onset is rarely seen.

These consist of a cluster of sudden jerks followed by stiffening. Often the arms are flung out as the knees are pulled up and the body bends forward.Infantile spasms consist of clusters of sudden, quick movements. Typically, if the child is sitting up, the head may fall forward, the arms will flex forward, and the body may flex at the waist. If lying down, the knees will be drawn up, with arms and head flexed forward as if the body is reaching for support. Individual spasms last only 1 or 2 seconds. They often repeat in a series of 5 to 50 or more. A child may have many series per day. Spasms are most likely to occur when the child is drowsy, just waking from a nap or falling asleep. They’re sometimes called “jackknife seizures” and are very rare. They occur only during the first year of life, usually starting around 3-7 months of age.

A kind of simple partial seizure. “Simple” in this context means patients do not lose awareness.

Partial means that abnormal neuron firing only occurs in part of the brain, and, accordingly, abnormal movement or sensation is limited to only part of the body.

The characteristic features of Jacksonian march are that it only occurs on one side of the body and it progresses in a predictable pattern from twitching or a tingling sensation or weakness in a finger, a big toe or the corner of the mouth, then marches over a few seconds to the entire hand, foot or facial muscles.Jacksonian march seizures are generally brief and relatively mild. They are episodic, come and go. There is no confusion afterwards. Sometimes patients may not even notice them.

They are a form of simple partial seizures, which include clonic, jerking, convulsive movements. Jerking typically begins in one area of the body –your face, arm, leg, or trunk —and may spread to other parts of the body.

These seizures are sometimes called Jacksonian motor seizures, their spread is called a Jacksonian march andthey cannot be stopped.

Typically begins at puberty in otherwise healthy children. The first symptom is usually a generalized convulsion. These children may also have myoclonic seizures (jerking of the muscles) on awakening.

A hand may suddenly fling out, a shoulder may shrug, a foot may kick, or the entire body may jerk. A child may spill or drop whatever he or she is holding or fall from their chair. Absence seizures may also occur.

Juvenile myoclonic seizures can occur as a single event or in a series.

Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a rare and severe kind of epilepsy that starts in childhood.

Children with LGS have seizures often, and they have several different kinds of seizures.

The seizures usually start between ages 2 and 6. Children with LGS have learning difficulties and developmental delays (like sitting, crawling, walking) that can be moderate to severe.

They can also have behavioural problems. Each child develops differently, and it’s impossible to predict how a child with LGS will do.

While most children have ongoing seizures and some form oflearning disability, some may respond well to treatment and have fewer seizures. Others may continue to have seizures often, as well as problems with thinking, development, and behaviour, and will need help with daily living activities. Some parents find that a special diet, called theketogenic diet, helps

n this reflex condition, seizures are produced by particular visual patterns. These triggers may consist of circles, stripes, or other patterns, usually of high contrast. Moving patterns are most likely to incite a seizure.

This is reflex epilepsy where seizures are triggered by reading. Seizures usually begin in adolescence, and onset is unusual in younger children or adults over 30 years old.

Patients report jaw jerking or clicking while reading, often with jerks of the arms, and if reading continues, a generalized convulsion may occur.

Transient cognitive impairment has also been noted with the jerks.

Does Epilepsy Affect a Person’s Emotional Wellbeing?

It is normal for a person who has been diagnosed with epilepsy to experience a range of emotions such as anger, frustration, fear, and sadness. Concern for the future and negative responses from friends and family can leave a person feeling vulnerable and alone.

Living with epilepsy can result in personal challenges, but it does not have to result in an inability to live a rewarding and full life.

People with epilepsy experience depression and anxiety more frequently than individuals without epilepsy.

Research hasn’t yet determined why this happens to a person’s epilepsy emotional well-being, but there may be some common links between the underlying causes of these brain disorders.

How Does Alcohol Affect Me if I Have Epilepsy?

Alcohol in large amounts can increase your risk of seizures both on its own and by interacting with medications. However, in small and moderate amounts, alcohol has not been shown to increase the chance of seizures. In terms of other effects and if you should be consuming alcohol, it’s best to consult your primary health care provider about your individual situation.

How Will My Epilepsy Diagnosis Affect My Employment?

People whose seizures are completely controlled on medication can work at most jobs. Others may still have seizures, but can be valuable employees when placed in the right job or when accommodations are made. Each person’s abilities and/or limitations should be considered individually.

Can a Person Die From Epilepsy?

The vast majority of people with epilepsy live long and healthy lives. As with many other medical conditions though, for some people there is an increased risk of dying caused by epilepsy.

The possible causes of this increased risk include:
  • More serious health problems, such as a stroke or a tumour.
  • These conditions carry an increased risk of death and may cause seizures.

  • Falls or other injuries that happen because of seizures; these can be life-threatening.
  • The underlying medical cause of someone’s epilepsy.

  • Seizures that last over 5 minutes; a condition called status epilepticus. It can sometimes happen when a person suddenly stops taking seizure medication.
  • SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) is thought to happen when a person with epilepsy, who is in their usual state of health, dies unexpectedly.

Can a Person Die From Epilepsy?

The vast majority of people with epilepsy live long and healthy lives. As with many other medical conditions though, for some people there is an increased risk of dying caused by epilepsy.

The possible causes of this increased risk include:
  • More serious health problems, such as a stroke or a tumour.
  • These conditions carry an increased risk of death and may cause seizures.

  • Falls or other injuries that happen because of seizures; these can be life-threatening.
  • The underlying medical cause of someone’s epilepsy.

  • Seizures that last over 5 minutes; a condition called status epilepticus. It can sometimes happen when a person suddenly stops taking seizure medication.
  • SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) is thought to happen when a person with epilepsy, who is in their usual state of health, dies unexpectedly.

What Do I Do if Someone Is Having a Seizure?

Witnessing someone with epilepsy having a seizure can be truly frightening. But most seizures aren’t an emergency. They stop on their own with no permanent ill effects.

There isn’t much you can do to stop a seizure once it starts. But there are simple steps you can take to protect someone from harm during a seizure. It’s worth knowing some basic first aid — and when it’s time to call 999.

What can cause seizures?

Any of the following factors can cause seizures or anything that disturbs the blood flow to the brain: head injury, brain tumours, stroke, meningitis, malaria, eclampsia in pregnancy, poisoning, lack of oxygen, raised body temperature, epilepsy, drug and alcohol use and withdrawal, fainting, cardiac arrest and many more reasons.

Generalised Seizures

Tonic Clonic (Grand Mal)

Tonic-clonic seizures (older terms: grand mal seizures or convulsions) are the most recognized type of seizure. There are two parts to a tonic-clonic seizure: the tonic phase, which is the stiffening of the body and limbs; and the clonic phase, which is the jerking or convulsing of the body. A tonic-clonic seizure typically lasts 2 to 3 minutes. This seizure is sometimes confused with a heart attack or stroke.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Cry out and fall
  • Go rigid
  • Lose consciousness
  • Begin shaking and rapidly jerk their muscles
  • Have trouble breathing
  • Bite their tongue or inside of their cheek
  • Lose bladder or bowel control

After the seizure, the person:
  • May not become fully conscious right away (if it takes more than 30 minutes, they may need to go to the ER)
  • May appear confused, tired, or have a headache
  • May sleep for several minutes or hours

  • Breathes normally and eventually becomes fully conscious

First Aid for Tonic Clonic Seizures

DO –
  • Stay calm
  • Time the seizure
  • Turn the person on their side to keep their airway clear, unless they have an injury
  • Protect their head with your hands or a soft object
  • Protect them from nearby hazards
  • Loosen tight clothing around the neck like ties and collars

  • Call an ambulance if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, it is the person’s first seizure, the person is pregnant, or has diabetes
  • Keep onlookers away and explain what is happening

  • Stay with the person until the seizure is over and consciousness has fully returned

DON’T –
  • Put any object in the mouth or try to hold the tongue
  • Restrain the person or hold them down
  • Give liquids or oral medications until conscious
  • Use artificial respiration during the seizure

Absence (Petit Mal)

Absence seizures (older terms: petit mal seizures or staring spells) are a brief loss of awareness causing a person, most commonly children, to stare into space. The seizure usually lasts 5 to 10 seconds and can be easily missed. Absence seizures often happen many times during the day. This type of seizure may be confused with daydreaming or lack of attention.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Stare blankly

  • Blink quickly
  • Make chewing movements
  • Have a glazed look on their face
  • Not respond if they are called or touched
  • Be unaware of what’s going on around them
  • Other symptoms may include: hand gestures, eye fluttering, eye rolling, or a slight facial twitch

After the seizure, the person:
  • Becomes fully conscious right away

First Aid for Absence Seizure

  • No immediate first aid necessary
DO –
  • Try to document duration of the seizure
  • Give comfort and reassurance
  • Try to document duration of the seizure
  • Time the seizures if they begin to cluster
  • Help the person reintegrate into the task they were just doing

  • Time the seizures if they begin to cluster

Atonic Seizures (Drop Attacks)

Atonic seizures (older term: drop attacks) are a sudden loss of muscle tone, causing the person to fall to the ground or slump over in a chair. This seizure occurs suddenly and with no warning; and the person is not able to react, resulting in possible injuries to the head and face from a fall. The seizure usually lasts 10-60 seconds and is sometimes confused with being clumsy, poor walking skills, or being drunk.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Suddenly lose muscle control or suddenly fall

  • Lose consciousness

After the seizure, the person:
  • Becomes fully conscious
  • Can stand and walk
  • May be sore or injured from the fall and need first aid

First Aid for Absence Seizure

  • No first aid needed unless the person is hurt during a fall

DO –
  • Provide emotional support and reassurance

emotional support

Myoclonic Seizures

Myoclonic seizures are sudden, brief, massive muscle jerks that may involve the whole body or parts of the body. The seizure lasts only a few seconds and the person maintains consciousness throughout. Myoclonic seizures can often occur in conjunction with various epilepsy syndromes. This seizure is sometimes confused with clumsiness or poor coordination.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Suddenly jerk their whole body or part of their body
  • Spill a drink, drop an object, or fall off of a chair
  • Maintain consciousnes
After the seizure, the person:
  • May be sore or injured from the fall and need first aid

First Aid for Myoclonic Seizures

  • No first aid needed unless injury occurs

DO –
  • Provide emotional support and reassurance

Infantile Spasms

Infantile spasms are myoclonic seizures in young children 3 to 24 months old. This seizure is sometimes confused with the child asking to be held or colic.

The individual spasms last only 1 or 2 seconds. They often repeat in a series of 5 to 50 or more. A child may have many series per day.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Move their body suddenly
  • Let their head and arms fall forward
  • Fold up their knees and lift up their arms and head

First Aid for Infantile Spasms

  • Take the baby to the doctor or emergency department if this is the first time

DO –
  • Document the duration of the seizure

Febrile Seizures

Febrile seizures are seizures that occur as a result of a high fever. These typically occur in children under 5 years of age and generally last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Febrile seizures are not necessarily indicative of a diagnosis of epilepsy, but they can be just as scary as epileptic seizures. If this is the first time your child is having a febrile seizure, they should be transported to an emergency room for evaluation; from there, the physician will provide instructions on how to move forward if your child experiences another febrile seizure.

Even though febrile seizures do not necessarily constitute a diagnosis of epilepsy, the first aid procedures are the same for tonic-clonic seizures.

Focal Seizures

Focal Without Altered Awareness, Focal Aware Seizures (Simple Partial)

Focal without altered awareness (older term: simple partial) seizures do not cause loss of awareness. The person is awake and alert but may not be able to speak or move until after the seizure is over. People may also refer to this type of seizure as an aura. They typically last 1 to 2 minutes and may progress to become a tonic-clonic seizure. This seizure is sometimes confused with acting out, hysteria, mental illness, mystical experiences, or psychosomatic illness.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Jerk their body, arm, leg, or face
  • Experience a distorted environment
  • See or hear things that aren’t there
  • Feel scared, sad, angry, or happy for no reason
  • Have nausea, sense odd smells, or have a funny feeling in the stomach
  • Feel like vomiting or have a stomach ache

After the seizure, the person:
  • May need to rest

First Aid for Focal Aware Seizures

DO –
  • Stay calm
  • Time the seizure
  • Protect the person from harm

  • Keep onlookers away and explain what is happening
  • Stay with the person and support them when the seizure ends
  • If the seizure becomes convulsive, then first aid is required as described for generalized tonic-clonic seizures above

First Aid for focal epilepsy. Image of a First Aid responder.

Focal With Altered Awareness, Focal Impaired Awareness Seizures (Complex Partial)

Focal with altered awareness (older term: complex partial) seizures will change a person’s awareness. The seizure may start with a blank stare, followed by repeated movements (called automatisms). Once a pattern is established, the same set of actions usually occur with each seizure. These seizures typically last 1 to 2 minutes, but post-seizure confusion can last substantially longer. When it is over, the person will not remember what happened during the seizure. These seizures may progress to become a tonic-clonic seizure. This seizure is sometimes confused with drunkenness, drug use, mental illness, disorderly conduct, or acting out.

During the seizure, a person may:
  • Stare blankly
  • Make chewing movements
  • Move their body in unusual ways
  • Not answer questions
  • Be unaware, seem dazed
  • Pick at clothing or try to take off their clothes
  • Seem scared or confused
  • Run, pick up objects, or mumble
    Struggle or flail at restraint

After the seizure, the person:
  • Is confused
  • Can’t remember what happened

First Aid for Focal Impaired Awareness Seizures (FIAS)

DO –
  • Stay calm
  • Time the seizure
  • Guide away from obvious hazards (like stairs or traffic)
  • Speak calmly and reassuringly to person
  • Keep onlookers away and explain what is happening
  • Stay with the person and support them when it’s over

  • If the seizure becomes convulsive, then first aid is required as described for generalized tonic-clonic seizures above

DON’T –
  • Grab the person, unless there is sudden danger such as a cliff or an approaching car
  • Try to restrain
  • Shout

Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES)

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are sudden, disruptive changes in a person’s behavior which resemble epileptic seizures but no electrophysiological changes in the brain are seen.

These events may be related to physical illness, or a psychiatric or emotional disorder. They are sometimes referred to as “Pseudoseizures”.

While epilepstic seizures can occur at any time and any place, most psychogenic seizures occur only during the daytime with observers present.

psychogenic seizure

Prolonged seizures are often common with psychogenic seizures, as are bizarre behaviors before, during, and after the seizure has occurred.

How a convulsive PNES seizure is different:
  • Typically, there’s no tongue biting, or if there is, it’s usually the tip of the tongue rather than the side

  • Incontinence is extremely uncommon
  • Significant injury is extremely uncommon

How a non-convulsive PNES seizure is different:
  • Eyes are typically fully closed, and person is resistant to passive eye opening
  • Automatisms are typically absent
  • Moaning and crying may occur

First Aid for PNES

  • Same first aid protocol as epileptic seizures and should be treated as such in the moment
  • Treatment methods outside of the seizure itself will vary, as psychogenic seizures do not typically respond to anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) and other treatments that are typical for those diagnosed with epilepsy.

In Water

Remove the person as quickly as possible, while supporting the body and keeping the head tilted. The head and face should stay above the surface. Once on dry land, examine the person and begin artificial respiration immediately if he/she isn’t breathing. The person should be taken to the emergency of a local hospital for a careful medical check-up, even if he/she appears to have fully recovered from the seizure. Inhaling water can cause heart or lung damage.

In an Airplane

If possible, help the person lie across two or more seats with the head and body turned on one side. Once consciousness has been fully regained, help the person into a resting position in a single reclining seat.

If there aren’t any empty places, recline the person’s seat. Once the seizure’s rigidity phase has passed, turn the person gently in the seat so that he/she is leaning towards one side.

You can arrange pillow or blankets to protect the person’s head from hitting unpadded areas of the plane, but make sure the person is sitting at an angle that keeps the airway clear and breathing is unobstructed.

On a Bus

Lie the person across a double or triple seat, turn the person on the side and follow the same steps as indicated above. A person who has fully recovered from a seizure can stay on the bus until arriving at his/her destination.

You should call 999 when:

  • Someone without a history of seizures has one

  • A seizure lasts five minutes or longer

  • Seizures occur one after another without the person becoming conscious in between

  • Seizures occur closer together that is typical for that person

  • The person has trouble breathing or is choking
  • The person asks for medical attention

Living with Epilepsy - image of husband calling 999 for his wife affected by epilepsy

First aid for people who use a wheelchair:

  • Put the brakes on, to stop the chair from moving

  • Allow the person to remain seated in the chair during the seizure (unless care plan says to move them). Moving the person could possibly lead to injuries for the person having the seizure and the carer. There could be certain attachments or medical reasons for the person to remain within the chair.

  • If the person has a seatbelt or harness on, leave it fastened

  • If the person doesn’t have a seatbelt or harness, support them gently, so they don’t fall out of the chair

  • Cushion the person’s head and support it gently

  • Do not restrain
  • Afterward, talk gently to the person, be comforting and reassuring and stay with them until they become re-oriented

If you use a wheelchair or any other mobility device, speak with your doctor about any specific treatment options or care packages they would like you to follow during or after a seizure.

  • Don’t panic. Take deep breaths and remain calm.

  • When possible, note the time the seizure began so you’ll know if it goes on too long (five minutes or more).
  • If they’re sitting in a chair, gently guide them to the floor or try to prevent them from falling. Head injuries are common and usually result from the fall at the onset of the seizure.

  • Move all heavy or sharp objects away from them. This includes tables, chairs, or any other hard furniture.

  • Try placing something soft, like a jacket or blanket, beneath the person’s head to help prevent head injuries.

  • Remove their eyeglasses if you can safely do so.

  • If possible, roll them onto their side.

  • While it may be helpful to loosen belts or ties to help them breathe easier, never hold somebody down during a seizure.

  • Stay with them until the seizure is over, then be sensitive and provide support.

When Should an Ambulance Be Called?

  • A convulsive (shaking) seizure lasts more than five minutes

  • One convulsive seizure follows another without the person regaining consciousness in between

  • The person has injured themselves during a seizure or is having difficulty breathing when the seizure has finished
  • The person has three convulsive seizures in an hour

  • If you have concerns about the person’s condition

Can People With Epilepsy Take Part in Sports or Other Vigorous Activities?

In most cases, the answer is yes, although a lot depends on the degree of seizure control, the type of sport, and what the doctor recommends.

Research suggests that people are likely to have fewer seizures when actively occupied.

Engaging in physical activities and sports can help prevent or counteract the side effects of some antiepileptic medication, such as weight gain or increased fragility of bones.

How Can I Support Others Living With Epilepsy?

One of the easiest ways to show your support is to talk about epilepsy. One of the most difficult challenges that people living with epilepsy face is the stigma associated with the condition.

By spreading awareness and educating others, you can provide epilepsy support and help erase the misconceptions that exist about epilepsy. You can also support the services provided by your local epilepsy agency by becoming a volunteer or donor, or running a fundraiser.

Benefits for People Living with Epilepsy

There is various help available for people with epilepsy. Your family, friends or carer might also get help.

Eligibility for benefits application depends on what  your epilepsy is like & how it affects you.

Access to Work

If the help you need at work is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments you can try to apply for an Access to Work grant. You need to be employed, or about to start work or return to one to be qualified for the grant.

Access to Work can aid with:

  • Special equipment, adaptations
  • Support worker services
  • Help getting to and from work
  • Mental health support

Attendance Allowance

Helps with extra costs if you have severe Epilepsy that requires someone to help look after you.

  • Get £58.70 or £87.65 a week depending on the level of care you need
  • Other benefits you get can increase if you get this allowance

  • Only help with personal support & does not cover mobility needs

You are eligible if you’re both:

  • Physically or mentally disabled
  • State Pension age or older

Carer’s Allowance

If you have care needs & you get certain benefits, your carer may be
able to get £66.15 a week.

To be eligible, all of the following must apply:

  • They look after you at least 35 hours a week
  • Age of 16 or over
  • Not in full-time education
  • Earnings are £123 or less a week
  • 2 of the last 3 years UK residence, no immigration issues

Blue Badge Scheme

Allows you to park nearer to your destination if you have severe
mobility disability. Usually lasts up to 3 years.

Costs £10 in England, £20 in Scotland and free in Wales.

What you’ll need to apply:

  • Proof of identitly
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of benefits
  • National insurance number (if you have one)

Bus / Train Pass

You may be entitled to free or reduced price bus travel

England: English National Concessionary Travel Scheme

Scotland: National Entitlement Card (NEC)

Wales: Concessionary Travel Card

Northern Ireland:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Help with extra costs for children (under 16) with substantial care needs

  • Rate is from £23.20 – £148.85 a week which depends on child’s needs

  • Has 2 components; Care Component & Mobility Component
Disabled Facilities Grants

Financial help if you need to make changes to your home to
accommodate for your disability needs

  • Can widen doors, install ramps, add lighting controls, etc.
  • Grant depends on your household income & savings
Medical exemption certificates

If your epilepsy require continuous anticonvulsive therapy, you can
apply for a medical exemption certificate & get free NHS prescriptions.

  • Certificate doesn’t cover dental treatment or other health costs
  • Required when you collect a prescription
  • Valid for five years or until your 60th birthday, whichever is sooner
  • Penalty charge of up to £100 if you claim free prescriptions after certificate expires
Disabled Persons Railcard

Having epilepsy entitles you to get 1/3 off rail travel for you & a friend

Only pay £20 for 1 year or £54 for 3 years; save an average of £131 a year

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Helps if epilepsy affects how much you can work; you can get:

  • Money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work
  • Support to get back into work if you’re able to

  • Employed, self-employed or unemployed are all eligible to apply

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Get help with some of the extra costs if your epilepsy
makes daily living or getting around difficult.

  • You must be aged 16 or over & not reached State Pension age
  • Difficulties should have lasted for 3 months & you expect them to continue for at least 9 months

  • You can get between £23.20 and £148.85 a week depending on how epilepsy affects you
  • PIP is divided into 2 parts: Daily living & Mobility
  • You’ll be assessed by health professional & have regular rate review to make sure you get the right help

Benefits for People Living with Epilepsy

There are various help available for people with epilepsy. Your family, friends or carer might also get help.

Eligibility for benefits application depends on what  your epilepsy is like & how it affects you.

Access to Work

If the help you need at work is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments you can try to apply for Access to Work grant. You need to be employed, or about to start work or return to one to be qualified for the grant.

Access to work can aid with:

  • Special equipment, adaptations
  • Support worker services
  • Help getting to and from work
  • Mental health support

Attendance Allowance

Helps with extra costs if you have severe Epilepsy that requires someone to help look after you.

  • Get £58.70 or £87.65 a week depending on the level of care you need
  • Other benefits you get can increase if you get this allowance

  • Only help with personal support & does not cover mobility needs

You are eligible if you’re both:

  • Physically or mentally disabled
  • State Pension age or older

Carer’s Allowance

If you have care needs & you get certain benefits, your carer may be
able to get £66.15 a week.

To be eligible, all of the following must apply:

  • They look after you at least 35 hours a week
  • Age of 16 or over
  • Not in full-time education
  • Earnings are £123 or less a week
  • 2 of the last 3 years UK residence, no immigration issues

Blue Badge Scheme

Allows you to park nearer to your destination if you have severe
mobility disability. Usually lasts up to 3 years.

Costs £10 in England, £20 in Scotland and free in Wales.

What you’ll need to apply:

  • Proof of identitly
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of benefits
  • National insurance number (if you have one)

Bus / Train Pass

You may be entitled to free or reduced price bus travel

England: English National Concessionary Travel Scheme

Scotland: National Entitlement Card (NEC)

Wales: Concessionary Travel Card

Northern Ireland:

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Help with extra costs for children (under 16) with substantial care needs

  • Rate is from £23.20 – £148.85 a week which depends on child’s needs

  • Has 2 components; Care Component & Mobility Component
Disabled Facilities Grants

Financial help if you need to make changes to your home to
accommodate for your disability needs

  • Can widen doors, install ramps, add lighting controls, etc.
  • Grant depends on your household income & savings
Medical exemption certificates

If your epilepsy require continuous anticonvulsive therapy, you can
apply for a medical exemption certificate & get free NHS prescriptions.

  • Certificate doesn’t cover dental treatment or other health costs
  • Required when you collect a prescription
  • Valid for five years or until your 60th birthday, whichever is sooner
  • Penalty charge of up to £100 if you claim free prescriptions after certificate expires
Disabled Persons Railcard

Having epilepsy entitles you to get 1/3 off rail travel for you & a friend

Only pay £20 for 1 year or £54 for 3 years; save an average of £131 a year

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Helps if epilepsy affects how much you can work; you can get:

  • Money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work
  • Support to get back into work if you’re able to

  • Employed, self-employed or unemployed are all eligible to apply

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Get help with some of the extra costs if your epilepsy
makes daily living or getting around difficult.

  • You must be aged 16 or over & not reached State Pension age
  • Difficulties should have lasted for 3 months & you expect them to continue for at least 9 months

  • You can get between £23.20 and £148.85 a week depending on how epilepsy affects you
  • PIP is divided into 2 parts: Daily living & Mobility
  • You’ll be assessed by health professional & have regular rate review to make sure you get the right help

What Safety Aids and Equipment Available for Those Suffering From Epilepsy?

Alarms & Monitors

An alarm/monitor can alert family or friends when someone has a seizure.

Adris Technologies (PulseGuard)

PulseGuard is an alarm system developed by the Perry family for their son, who has Dravet Syndrome. The system detects bed seizures through a sensor which monitors blood flow and heart rate.

adris pulse guard
alert it system
Alert-it Care Alarm Technology

Manufacture a range of monitors and alarms, including bed alarms, and sensors and personal alarms.

Aremco

Provide epilepsy bed seizure alarms and fall detector alarms. Advice available. Different types or detectors can be linked to the basic alarm unit. A trial period may be available.

aremco
brio equipment
Brio

An innovative monitor that detects changes in your heart rate that may indicate a seizure.

EasyLink Electronics

Manufacture an automatic fall call detector and bed seizure alarms with pagers. Advice is available.

easylink bed alarm
epidetect
Epdetect

Mobile phone app that uses advanced signal process to detect epileptic seizures.

Epilepsy Alarms UK

A large UK provider of epilepsy alarms & sensors.

epilepsy alarms uk
epilepsy solutions
Epilepsy Solutions

Smart watch tracking device

Frequency Precision Ltd

Manufacture a bed sensor (the Frequency Precision seizure monitor) that links to a pager alarm or existing nurse call system.

precision alarm
Possum Telecare

Supply a range of ‘Electronic Assistive Technology’ alarm systems, including bed seizure alarms and an epilepsy sensor, worn on the wrist.

possum telecare
safety systems
Safety Systems Distribution Ltd

The Emfit Tonic-Clonic Seizure Monitor is designed to detect seizures that occur during the night and trigger a notification. The system can detect even the slightest of movements, making it suitable for use by anyone – including young children and the elderly.

Sensorium- Caring with Technology

SensAlert 300 has been developed as a LOW INTRUSION care solution to assist carers monitor individuals at risk of falling by generating an alert when the person is most at risk. Versatility is offered with several modes of operation.

sensorium
sanctuary 365
Sanctuary365

Provides telecare sensors to help people with disabilities to live independently. The epilepsy alarm offered is the Emfit tonic-clonic seizure bed monitoring system.

Telecare24

The sensor will detect when you take a fall and automatically contact our care team within seconds. There are also SOS buttons you can press.

Our care team will begin speaking to you through the loudspeaker on your base unit. We will assess your situation and get you the help that you need.

We’ll organise the most appropriate help for you based on your situation, whether that means contacting somebody you elect, or even the emergency services.

telecare
tunstall group
Tunstall Group Ltd

Supply a range of safety systems including fall call and mattress alarms, which link to a ‘Lifeline’ system. Continuous cover is connected to a central base in local authorities via a phone line.

Welbeing

Fall alarms, reassurance and reminder call.

The personal alarm service helps individuals to live more independently, and have an improved quality of life.

A discrete pendant is worn around your wrist or neck and means you can raise an alarm at the touch of a button from anywhere in your home.

well being

Safety Helmets/Protective Headgear

The excellent soft protection headgear is suitable for:

  • Neurologic disorders such as Epilepsy with minor or
    medium potential for injury
  • General seizures with potential for injury
  • Prevention of bumps & bruises
  • Non-high risk activities
  • Head injury recovery
  • Fall injury management device
  • Everyday outdoor & sporting activities such as golf, camping, hiking, skating, walking, hockey, & more
Aremco

Various sizes, designs and additional features available. Some designs can be made to measure.

aremco safety helmet
g s smirthwaite
G & S Smirthwaite

Specialised protective helmets in two designs, tailored to individuals’ needs. Various sizes and additional protectors are available.

Thudguard

Protective hats for infants, designed to absorb and reduce the impact from falls. Thudguard Comfy Caps also available for older children and adults. Various designs available, made to measure.

thudguard safety helmet

Safety Pillows

Safety pillows have small holes in so that someone may be able to breathe through them more easily if they are lying face down during a seizure.

Please note that there is no robust evidence as yet confirming their effectiveness in preventing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

The Helpful Hand

Safety pillows and mobility equipment. Home assessment available.

They offer a wide range of sizes and firmness to suit your specific needs. They have cushions suitable to boost your your sitting height or that offer particular support whilst you are sitting, they also offer V Pillows.

helpful hands
sleep safe pillow
Sleep-Safe

Safety pillows, anti-suffocation pillows. Extra covers available.

This pillow can prevent reduced airflow – they claim that this could therefore reduce the risk of suffocation.

Click here to read more.

Breathe-zy Anti Suffocation Pillow

The Breathe-zy Anti Suffication Pillow A Class 1 device Medical Device which is designed to be breatheable, practible and comfortable whilst assisting in the prevention of Sudep.

This ensures that at all times, regardless of your sleeping style, you are always in a safe and secure position

breatheasy pillows

Seizure Alert Dogs

Seizure Dogs provides, trains and supports assistance dogs to help families of children living with Epilepsy.

Support Dogs

A charity that provides training for ‘Seizure Alert dogs’ for adults aged 16-60 years. Certain criteria need to be met to have a support dog.

Existing pet dogs cannot be trained as Seizure Alert dogs.

What Safety Aids and Equipment Available for Those Suffering From Epilepsy?

Alarms & Monitors

An alarm/monitor can alert family or friends when someone has a seizure.

Adris Technologies (PulseGuard)

PulseGuard is an alarm system developed by the Perry family for their son, who has Dravet Syndrome. The system detects bed seizures through a sensor which monitors blood flow and heart rate.

adris pulse guard
alert it system
Alert-it Care Alarm Technology

Manufacture a range of monitors and alarms, including bed alarms, and sensors and personal alarms.

Aremco

Provide epilepsy bed seizure alarms and fall detector alarms. Advice available. Different types or detectors can be linked to the basic alarm unit. A trial period may be available.

aremco
brio equipment
Brio

An innovative monitor that detects changes in your heart rate that may indicate a seizure.

EasyLink Electronics

Manufacture an automatic fall call detector and bed seizure alarms with pagers. Advice is available.

easylink bed alarm
epidetect
Epdetect

Mobile phone app that uses advanced signal process to detect epileptic seizures.

Epilepsy Alarms UK

A large UK provider of epilepsy alarms & sensors.

epilepsy alarms uk
epilepsy solutions
Epilepsy Solutions

Smart watch tracking device

Frequency Precision Ltd

Manufacture a bed sensor (the Frequency Precision seizure monitor) that links to a pager alarm or existing nurse call system.

precision alarm
Possum Telecare

Supply a range of ‘Electronic Assistive Technology’ alarm systems, including bed seizure alarms and an epilepsy sensor, worn on the wrist.

possum telecare
safety systems
Safety Systems Distribution Ltd

The Emfit Tonic-Clonic Seizure Monitor is designed to detect seizures that occur during the night and trigger a notification. The system can detect even the slightest of movements, making it suitable for use by anyone – including young children and the elderly.

Sensorium- Caring with Technology

SensAlert 300 has been developed as a LOW INTRUSION care solution to assist carers monitor individuals at risk of falling by generating an alert when the person is most at risk. Versatility is offered with several modes of operation.

sensorium
sanctuary 365
Sanctuary365

Provides telecare sensors to help people with disabilities to live independently. The epilepsy alarm offered is the Emfit tonic-clonic seizure bed monitoring system.

Telecare24

The sensor will detect when you take a fall and automatically contact our care team within seconds. There are also SOS buttons you can press.

Our care team will begin speaking to you through the loudspeaker on your base unit. We will assess your situation and get you the help that you need.

We’ll organise the most appropriate help for you based on your situation, whether that means contacting somebody you elect, or even the emergency services.

telecare
tunstall group
Tunstall Group Ltd

Supply a range of safety systems including fall call and mattress alarms, which link to a ‘Lifeline’ system. Continuous cover is connected to a central base in local authorities via a phone line.

Welbeing

Fall alarms, reassurance and reminder call.

The personal alarm service helps individuals to live more independently, and have an improved quality of life.

A discrete pendant is worn around your wrist or neck and means you can raise an alarm at the touch of a button from anywhere in your home.

well being

Safety Helmets/Protective Headgear

The excellent soft protection headgear is suitable for:

  • Neurologic disorders such as Epilepsy with minor or
    medium potential for injury
  • General seizures with potential for injury
  • Prevention of bumps & bruises
  • Non-high risk activities
  • Head injury recovery
  • Fall injury management device
  • Everyday outdoor & sporting activities such as golf, camping, hiking, skating, walking, hockey, & more
Aremco

Various sizes, designs and additional features available. Some designs can be made to measure.

aremco safety helmet
g s smirthwaite
G & S Smirthwaite

Specialised protective helmets in two designs, tailored to individuals’ needs. Various sizes and additional protectors are available.

Thudguard

Protective hats for infants, designed to absorb and reduce the impact from falls. Thudguard Comfy Caps also available for older children and adults. Various designs available, made to measure.

thudguard safety helmet

Safety Pillows

Safety pillows have small holes in so that someone may be able to breathe through them more easily if they are lying face down during a seizure.

Please note that there is no robust evidence as yet confirming their effectiveness in preventing sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

The Helpful Hand

Safety pillows and mobility equipment. Home assessment available.

They offer a wide range of sizes and firmness to suit your specific needs. They have cushions suitable to boost your your sitting height or that offer particular support whilst you are sitting, they also offer V Pillows.

helpful hands
sleep safe pillow
Sleep-Safe

Safety pillows, anti-suffocation pillows. Extra covers available.

This pillow can prevent reduced airflow – they claim that this could therefore reduce the risk of suffocation.

Click here to read more.

Breathe-zy Anti Suffocation Pillow

The Breathe-zy Anti Suffication Pillow A Class 1 device Medical Device which is designed to be breatheable, practible and comfortable whilst assisting in the prevention of Sudep.

This ensures that at all times, regardless of your sleeping style, you are always in a safe and secure position

breatheasy pillows

Seizure Alert Dogs

Seizure Dogs provides, trains and supports assistance dogs to help families of children living with Epilepsy.

Support Dogs

A charity that provides training for ‘Seizure Alert dogs’ for adults aged 16-60 years. Certain criteria need to be met to have a support dog.

Existing pet dogs cannot be trained as Seizure Alert dogs.

GENERAL EPILEPSY
PREVENTING & MANAGING EPILEPSY

HELP CHANGE LIVES TODAY

Few people are actually willing to step up and talk about Epilepsy. We need to make the world aware of the impact Epilepsy has on so many and find a cure. Without a cure, there are far too many people who will never have relief from seizures.

DONATE NOW