Preventing seizures & treating Epilepsy - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Preventing seizures & treating Epilepsy

by Natalie Sparacio

MARSHFIELD (WAOW)-- Seizures are hard to predict, but once they're diagnosed there are ways to prevent them from happening.

This week's Living Well explains what to do, if someone you know has a seizure.

Each year around 200-thousand new cases of seizures and epilepsy occur, and surprisingly ten percent of the American population will experience a seizure at some point in their lifetime.

If a family or friend has a seizure in front of you, there are some precautions to keep in mind.

Naomi Arenson, MD, a Neurologist at Marshfield Clinic says, "... if you see someone have a seizure you cant stop the seizure by holding onto them or holding them down...by doing that you could hurt them...so give them some room. If they have the seizure and they're flopping around...make sure that they won't hit anything or else they could get hurt."

Most seizures are pretty brief and last a few minutes.

But, if a person is having a seizure for a long period of time, or if it's the first time the event is occurring...you must call 9-11 and seek medical help in the emergency room immediately.

Thanks to new medications and a cutting edge surgery known as Neuropace ...epilepsy is much easier to control now.

Arenson says, "...there is a lot better treatment now then 10-20 years ago...the drugs used to cause sedation, but now they're better tolerated...surgery is becoming more common---only done for severe seizures that are not controlled by medicines. In surgery, an electrical device is impacted that can detect seizures and stop them."

Being diagnosed with epilepsy does impact a person's day to day life, until the disease is regulated, whether it be through medication or surgery.

In the state of Wisconsin, you aren't allowed to drive for 3 months after a seizure, but once the disease is under control,  people can start driving again.

Doctors also remind epileptics not to swim alone, because if a seizure were to happen in that situation...it could be fatal.

In the end, once seizures are controlled, patients are able to lead a completely normal life.

Living Well is produced in part and sponsored by Marshfield Clinic.

Online Reporter: Natalie Sparacio

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