November is Epilepsy Awareness Month…

Posted on November 14, 2011


What is a seizure

In a normal brain, there are millions of specialized nerve cells, called neurons, that transmit electrical impulses. These impulses communicate with other areas of the brain and serve in the everyday functions of your life. When these impulses misfire, a seizure occurs.

Biggest misconception about sezuires: swallowing your tongue

you can’t swallow your tongue. It is IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t believe me, try it, right now, try and swallow your tongue…could you do it? NO! YOU CAN NOT SWALLOW YOUR TONGUE!!

You can have a seizure at any age

Seizures can occur from infancy to later years in your life. There are many causes for seizures, such as having a fever.

Anyone can have a seizure

You don’t have to be diagnosed with epilepsy to have a seizure. Epilepsy implies you are having multiple seizures. However, a seizure can occur for a variety of factors, such as fever, high or low blood sugar, tumor, injjury, electrolyte imbalance, and drug withdrawl. About 1 in every 10 people will have a seizure at some point during their life.

You can have more than one type of seizure

Some people think that you can only have one type of seizure. Not true. In fact, you can have multiple types of seizures depending on which areas the misfirings are occuring. For example, you can have Tonic Clonic sezuires and absence sezuires.

Causes of epilepsy

There are over 100,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosis each year. About 30% of those cases are children. A clear cause of epilepsy occurs in only a minor amount of cases. Some of those factors include things like, Low oxygen at birth, Brain tumors, Genetic conditions, and stroke.


While origional casues of epilepsy are usually unknow, there are several known seziure triggers. Lack of sleep, bright and/or flashing lights, heavy alcohol use, missing medication doses. For about half of the women diagnosed with epilepsy, seizures tend to occur more often duiring their menstrual cycle.


  1. Stay calm
  2. Prevent injuryDuring the seizure, you can exercise your common sense by insuring there is nothing within reach that could harm the person if she struck it.
  3. Pay attention to the length of the seizure
  4. Make the person as comfortable as possible
  5. Keep onlookers away
  6. Do not hold the person downIf the person having a seizure thrashes around there is no need for you to restrain them. Remember to consider your safety as well
  7. Do not put anything in the person’s mouthContrary to popular belief, a person having a seizure is incapable of swallowing their tongue so you can breathe easy in the knowledge that you do not have to stick your fingers into the mouth of someone in this condition.
  8. Do not give the person water, pills, or food until fully alert
  9. If the seizure continues for longer than five minutes, call 911
  10. Be sensitive and supportive, and ask others to do the same

After the seizure, the person should be placed on her left side. Keep in mind there is a small risk of post-seizure vomiting, before the person is fully alert. Therefore, the person’s head should be turned so that any vomit will drain out of the mouth without being inhaled. Stay with the person until she recovers (5 to 20 minutes).

 Get Seizure smart 

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