An individual with epilepsy faces a lot of challenges and dangers while managing the condition. Take note that the seizures can cause injury and even death in some cases. Even when not at risk for danger by the seizures, an individual with epilepsy has to deal with the condition personally along with the misconceptions that surround it.
The treatment of epilepsy has its share of drawbacks that you should be well aware of. The treatments involving medications include side effects while surgery can be life-threatening. A number of complications are likely to arise if an individual has epilepsy.
An individual having a seizure can fall or strike objects while suffering convulsions, thus resulting to injuries. The convulsions can be strong enough on their own to cause injuries such as muscular damage. It is best that you are prepared on what to do during a seizure. All you have to do is to register for first aid and CPR training today.
This type of seizure tends to last longer than normal. Remember that this is considered as a serious or even life-threatening condition and must be treated as a medical emergency.
Sudden unexplained death in epilepsy
Those who are suffering from epilepsy face a higher risk of death without any reason. This phenomenon is not yet fully understood but can be linked to a disturbance in the heart rhythm during a seizure. Other potential causes include breathing issues, changes in the circulation in the brain as well as hormonal and metabolic changes.
Women who have epilepsy can have healthy delivery and babies but there are some possible risks. There is likelihood for diminished fertility and an increased risk for birth defects due to the use of anticonvulsants.
Pregnant women can experience non-epileptic seizures due to eclampsia which is a life-threatening situation that entails medical attention.
Individuals who have epilepsy face some challenges in their lives. Driving is not allowed for those who have epilepsy unless they are free from seizures for a specific length of time. There are also some sports and other recreational activities that must be avoided or should be approached with care. In addition, there is also the potential for social isolation and even discrimination in the workplace.
Side effects of medications
The medications that are used in treating seizures tend to vary and most of them are effective. On the other hand, the use of these medications also brings the risk of certain side effects and some of these can be serious.
Complications from surgery
There are various types of surgery that can be used to manage seizures that are resistant to drug treatment. These typically involve eliminating or neutralizing the part of the brain where seizures originate.
- Temporal lobectomy can lead to vision loss and memory impairment.
- Corpus callosotomy involves partial or complete separation of the corpus callosum to minimize or prevent communication between the hemispheres.
- Hemispherectomy involves the deactivation of one of the brain hemispheres.
- Vagal stimulation can cause pain, hoarseness, shortness of breath and sore throat.