What You Need To Know About Epilepsy

  1. You can’t swallow your tongue during a seizure. It's physically impossible.

  2. You should NEVER force something into the mouth of someone having a seizure.

  3. DON'T restrain someone having a seizure.

  4. The correct seizure first aid is simple: Stay. Safe. Side. STAY with the person and start timing the seizure. Keep the person SAFE. Turn the person onto their SIDE if they are not  awake and aware. Do NOT put anything in their mouth. Do NOT restrain. Stay with them until they are awake and alert after the seizure. Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes; repeated seizures; difficulty breathing; seizure occurs in water; person is injured is injured, pregnant or sick; person does not return to their usual state, first time seizure; or the person asks for medical help.

  5. Epilepsy is NOT contagious. You simply can't catch epilepsy from another person.

  6. Anyone can develop epilepsy. Seizures start for the first time in people over age 65 almost as often as it does in children..

  7. Most people with epilepsy CAN DO the same things that people without epilepsy can do. However, some people with frequent seizures may not be able to work, drive, or may have problems in other parts of their life.

  8. People with epilepsy CAN handle jobs with responsibility and stress. People with seizure disorders are found in all walks of life. They may work in business, government, the arts, and all sorts of professions. 

  9. Epilepsy is a chronic medical problem that for many people can be successfully treated.. Epilepsy can occur as a single condition or may be seen with other conditions affecting the brain, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and traumatic brain injury.

  10. You CAN die from epilepsy. While death in epilepsy doesn't happen frequently, epilepsy is a very serious condition and individuals do die from seizures. The most common cause of death is sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).. People can also die from prolonged seizures (status epilepticus). 1.9% of deaths in people with epilepsy is due to this type of seizure emergency.

  11. What happens in a seizure may look different from one person to another. However, seizures are usually stereotypic, which means the same things or behaviors tend to occur in a person each time they have a seizure.

  12. People with epilepsy are usually not physically limited in what they can do. During and after a seizure, a person may have trouble moving or doing their usual activity.

  13. Epilepsy is not  because of witchcraft, a swear, evil eye or “African sign” superstition.

  14. You do not get epilepsy as a consequence of what you, your parents or forefathers did to someone else in the past.