How Epilepsy Management Can Improve Quality of Life
Many people with epilepsy can have their seizures controlled by antiseizure drugs. Medications can have side effects, including fatigue and dizziness. Surgery to remove a lesion or the brain part causing seizures can improve the quality of life in people with certain types of epilepsy. This includes resection, disconnection, stereotactic radiosurgery and neuromodulation devices.
The journey toward effective epilepsy management begins with an accurate diagnosis. Specialists in nervous system disorders play a crucial role in evaluating an individual’s symptoms, conducting diagnostic tests (such as EEGs and brain imaging), and confirming the presence of epilepsy. A precise diagnosis is essential for tailoring treatment plans.
Managing epilepsy effectively is not solely the responsibility of the individual living with the condition; it also requires the expertise of healthcare professionals. Professional epilepsy management Austin TX, focuses on several key aspects to improve an individual’s quality of life.
Medications are a big part of treatment for people with epilepsy. Healthcare professionals often prescribe a single drug at a low dosage and gradually increase the dose until seizures are controlled. However, some people may need polytherapy, a combination of drugs, to achieve seizure control.
Mood-lifting antidepressants, blood thinners (anticoagulants and thrombolytics) to prevent or treat blood clots, antidiarrheal medications, and antacids can all improve quality of life. It’s also important to get adequate sleep because fatigue can trigger seizures.
Many people with epilepsy are referred to specialists in brain and nervous system conditions, called neurologists. Some are referred to experts in specific types of seizures, called epileptologists.
Health professionals who treat or manage people with epilepsy need knowledge about seizure recognition and diagnosis, treatment options, associated comorbidities, risks, safety concerns, necessary social services, and psychosocial and quality-of-life issues.
A positive relationship between people with epilepsy and their healthcare providers is vital. In addition to treating or supporting people with epilepsy, healthcare providers may need to educate others (e.g., school teachers and family members) about the impact of seizures on learning and daily activities. They must understand that people with epilepsy can lead productive, fulfilling lives.
Managing medications isn’t always easy, and it is only possible with the support of your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, counselor, family and friends, and yourself. But keeping on top of your meds can improve your quality of life by preventing seizures and helping you maintain an active lifestyle.
Health professionals need current knowledge about epilepsy management, including associated comorbidities; risks, safety concerns and necessary social services; psychosocial and quality-of-life issues; and stigma.
While many efforts are underway, there remains a need to educate a broad range of health professionals, such as physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, primary care providers, psychologists and counselors, direct caregivers, END technologists, and others.
For some people with epilepsy, a lack of socializing can lead to feelings of isolation. Keeping up with your social life, whether seeing friends and family or joining clubs and groups, can help improve your quality of life.
If you are going to participate in an activity that may be risky (like riding rides at amusement parks), make sure that someone who knows about your epilepsy is with you or can call for help if you have a seizure. Ask your neurologist for more advice on this. Educating yourself about your condition and learning to adapt to living with a chronic disease can improve your quality of life.
Stress can be a major factor in reducing quality of life. Identifying and managing sources of stress is important, as well as learning to let go of things you can’t control. Depending on your chronic stress, regional or federal public resources may be available to help you alleviate it.
A recent study found that illness perceptions and psychological distress are determinants of QOL in epileptic patients. Self-management education has improved SM skills and behaviors and QOL in many other chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.