Lifestyle Modification Tips for People with Epilepsy
Finding ways to prevent seizures is essential for people with epilepsy, but it can take time to adopt some positive lifestyle habits that keep seizures under control. Many people with epilepsy find that certain foods, activities and factors in the environment can trigger a seizure, and they need to take extra steps to avoid them in day-to-day life. Doctors and health experts also recommend a number of lifestyle modification strategies to prevent seizures and to keep epileptic fits under control.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with epilepsy, talk to your doctor about some changes you can make to your lifestyle to manage seizure triggers. There are dozens of ways to remove or reduce seizure triggers from your daily life, but it may take time to adopt these habits and strategies in the long-term.
Environmental Triggers to Avoid with Epilepsy
Many people with epilepsy are negatively affected by noises and bright or flashing lights in their environment. Even fluorescent lights can make it difficult to manage seizures, so those with epilepsy may need to travel with earplugs, or wear polarized and tinted glasses. They may also need to avoid strobe lights, bulbs that flash incessantly, and holiday decorations in some cases. Reducing glare at the computer screen, and avoiding intense video games or movies can also reduce the risk of seizures.
Stress Management with Epilepsy
Too much stress can trigger epileptic seizures and make it difficult to get to sleep. Taking time to relax at night and stopping work at the computer before bedtime can help to reduce stress naturally. A warm bath or hot shower before bedtime can improve quality of sleep and make it easier to be more relaxed throughout the day. It’s also important for those diagnosed with epilepsy to limit caffeine, alcohol and nicotine before bedtime, and to avoid excessive consumption of all of these items throughout the day. Relaxation and stretching exercises before bed can reduce anxiety. So can journaling or talking to someone about distressing thoughts.
Managing Illness and Injuries with Epilepsy
If you become ill or injured, your doctor may need to adjust the dosage of other medications so that they do not interact with antibiotics, painkillers and other medications that are supposed to help you get better. Even some types of medications for a fever or the stomach flu can interact negatively with your prescription medications, so it’s important to check with your doctor about the types of medicines you are taking. Some types of injuries and illnesses can make it difficult to manage seizures as well, so you will need a doctor’s recommendation in order to start a treatment plan that works.
If you are on birth control or taking fertility drugs, make sure you let your doctor know.
Learn more about lifestyle modification and tips for managing epilepsy by talking with your doctor. Your doctor can make some recommendations based on your current lifestyle and activities, and provide tips on managing common seizure triggers.