Everything You Need To Know About Epilepsy

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What is Epilepsy?

Imagine being awake and alert one second and seizing the next. You come back to consciousness, confused, with fearful faces surrounding you. It’s a scary experience, but you are not alone.

According to the UF Health Department of Neurology, epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in the world, affecting one in every twenty-six people. If you have epilepsy, or you think you may have it, educating yourself on the condition can help save your life.

In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about epilepsy, from what epilepsy is and how it affects your brain, how to control seizures, educational facts about epilepsy, raising awareness for epilepsy, driving with epilepsy, disabilities regarding epilepsy, and some basic tips that can help you or someone around you experiencing a seizure. But first, let’s talk about what exactly happens in epilepsy.

In epilepsy, the brain’s electrical rhythms have a habit of becoming imbalanced, leading to recurrent seizures. The normal electrical pattern in the brain is often disrupted by spontaneous yet synchronized bursts of electrical energy. This affects the part of your brain that controls your consciousness, movements, and sensations.

Epilepsy has been around since the beginning of time. Thankfully, there are ways to help you control and lesson seizures. Of course, everybody is different and not all treatments work for everyone. But it’s important to work with your doctor and determine what treatment works best for you.

How Can I Control Seizures?

Watching a person seize can be very frightening. Whether it’s your parent, child, sibling or stranger – it’s very scary. Knowing the do’s and don’ts when facing such a situation can help you save a life.


  1. Do lay something soft like a cushion or a jacket under the person’s head if they’re on the ground.
  2. Do loosen any tight clothing around their neck, such as collar or tie, to help breathing.
  3. Do turn the person on their side after their convulsions.
  4. Do stay with the person and talk to them calmly until they recover.


  1. Don’t hold the person down or try to stop his or her movements.
  2. Don’t put anything in the person’s mouth to keep it open.
  3. Don’t try to give CPR.
  4. Don’t offer water or food until the person is fully alert.

NOTE: Only call 911  if the person has never had a seizure before OR if the person has difficulty breathing and has been seizing for over five minutes. Seizures do not always require urgent care and are not always life-threatening.

Remember: If a seizure lasts more than five minutes, it’s considered a medical emergency.

Educational Facts About Epilepsy

Here are some facts to help you understand epilepsy more:

  1. You can’t physically swallow your tongue during a seizure. During seizures, a person’s jaw will tighten and their mouth will begin to foam. This is completely normal and you should never attempt so stop someone’s jaw or mouth from moving during a seizure.
  2. Never restrain yourself or someone having a seizure. During a seizure, a person’s muscles tighten and tense up. This can cause further and more permanent harm to a person. Wait for the person to stop seizing before you help them move.
  3. Epilepsy is not contagious but can be genetic. Anyone can develop epilepsy.
  4. People with epilepsy can live a normal life. Depending on how common seizures are, the person may not be able to work or drive.
  5. Epilepsy can be treated successfully with medications. Treatment doesn’t always work for everyone. At least 1 million people in the United States have uncontrolled epilepsy.
  6. Epilepsy is not rare and can be seen with other conditions that affect the brain, such as Alezhiemer’s disease, autism, intellectual disability, and traumatic brain injury.
  7. What happens in a seizure may look different from one person to another.

How To Raise Awareness for Epilepsy

Do you or someone you know have epilepsy? Are you looking to show your support and help spread awareness? Talking about epilepsy is important, and it helps those who have it feel less alone.

November is recognized as the month of NEAM, the National Epilepsy Awareness Month. In honor of NEAM, people showing their support wear a purple ribbon during this month. This not only spreads awareness but shows people that they support them.

Another way people have been showing their support is through tattoos. Often, family members will get a ribbon tattooed on their wrist or arm to show their loved one that they support them. There are many tattoo inspirations to look at on Pinterest to help you with ideas and designs if you are considering a tattoo.

If you’re looking for a less permanent way to show your support, there are tons of awareness t-shirts that you can purchase online. But sharing your support can be as easy as posting a quote or fact on your social media to encourage your followers to educate themselves on epilepsy.

Can I Drive If I Have Epilepsy?

In the United States, 700,000 licensed drivers have epilepsy. While all states allow people with epilepsy to drive, each state has their own regulations which can vary. To learn your state’s regulations and requirements, visit the website of your state’s department of motor vehicles, (DMV).

Typically, a person with epilepsy must be free of common or daily seizures that affect consciousness for a certain time period. Seizures are unpredictable, and experiencing a seizure behind the wheel can lead to a dangerous and life-threatening car accident which may harm you and others around you. In most states, you must be seizure-free for up to 6 months or a year before you’re allowed to drive again.

There are treatments such as an antiepileptic drug that can help you gain control over your seizures. Taking prescribed medication from your doctor and giving them time to see how they work is very important before beginning to drive again. But more often than not, people with epilepsy can drive.

“You can still live a normal life if you have epilepsy”

How Much Disability Can I Get For Epilepsy?

While epilepsy can be a potentially disabling, chronic, and socially isolating condition, most people with the disorder can live a normal and full life. Most people with epilepsy do not have intellectual disabilities.

To obtain disability with epilepsy, your insurance company will require proof of your condition, symptoms, and impact on your job performance. This will prove that you suffer daytime seizures that cause you to lose consciousness or convulse on a regular basis.

In more severe cases, if you are unable to work due to frequent seizures, such as experiencing at least one seizure a week despite adhering to prescribed treatment, you can file a claim for social security disability benefits. Those that qualify are unable to work and expect to be unable to work for at least 12 months.

Epilepsy Self Test

Do you think you may have epilepsy? While it is highly recommended to be diagnosed by a doctor, there are some epilepsy self testings that you can do while you are at home. You can also talk to a neurologist online and share your symptoms as well as ask questions. There are tons of highly rated verified doctors willing to help give you answers.

The main way to test for epilepsy is through an electroencephalogram. In this test, electrodes are attached to your scalp and record the electrical activity in your brain. However, if these tests do not show anything, it’s still possible to be diagnosed with epilepsy based on your symptoms.

A study has shown that as many as 90,000 people were misdiagnosed with epilepsy, resulting in as many as 1 in 4 cases. This is because it can be notoriously difficult to diagnose and there are a number of medical conditions that can appear to be very similar and share symptoms. If your online tests diagnoses you with epilepsy, get a second opinion before you begin to look into treatment.

Feel Safer With FOUND ME

Considering that your mind and body can seize at any given moment without any warnings can be terrifying. Being fearful is a common and completely valid emotion to feel when living with the condition.

FOUND ME is here to help with the stresses of seizing and falling unconscious. A medical wristband holding a QR code can be extremely helpful, especially in cases of emergency when people don’t know you but want to help you.

The QR code around your wrist carries important and vital information that can be shared with first responders when they scan it while at the same time all of your emergency contacts are notified.

If you would like to learn more about FOUND ME, please visit www.foundme.com.

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