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10 Things You Need To Know About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is often overlooked and not talked about. Yet, it is a very common disorder around the world. First things first, what is epilepsy? It's a disorder that causes seizures in the brain. This disorder is important to me because I have epilepsy. I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 10, but I had my first seizure at 9 years old. Any day that we can raise awareness about epilepsy, is important.

Bringing awareness to epilepsy is important. Here are 10 things you need to know about epilepsy.

10 epilepsy facts

1. Around 50 million people around the world live with epilepsy.

The majority of the people live in low-income countries. This is almost 80% of the people.1

2. 3.4 million are the number of people who live with epilepsy in the United States.

That means 1.2% of the population has epilepsy. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this is 3 million adults and roughly 470,000 children.2

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3. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their life.3

Anyone can develop epilepsy. Over the course of someone's life, they can hit their head, have a stroke, or it can be unknown. Epilepsy is not a disorder that is restricted to one set of people.

4. There are 150,000 new cases of epilepsy in the United States each year.4

Despite the fact, that epilepsy still has a stigma wrapped around it. People start having seizures for no reason at all or from head trauma.

5. People with epilepsy can live a normal life.

Normalcy and independence are very important for people with epilepsy. People can be suffering from epilepsy and live a full life. They can maintain a career and a social life.

6. The cause is often unknown.

About half of people with epilepsy do not know the cause of their epilepsy.
It is unknown. Unknown epilepsy can happen at any time. It is very common.

7. A person with epilepsy cannot swallow their tongue during a seizure.

This is a myth that is common with epilepsy. People think you can swallow your tongue when you're having a seizure. The truth of the matter is no one can swallow their tongue.

8. Don't force anything into someone's mouth while they are having a seizure.

The person could chip their teeth, cut their gums, or break their jaw. This is a very common misconception. When someone has a seizure, put the person on their side.

9. Epilepsy is not contagious.

Even though it is the fourth most common neurological disorder, it is not something you can catch like the common cold. So don't be afraid to help someone in distress when they are having a seizure. You can’t catch it.

10. People need to learn seizure safety.

When someone has a seizure, and no one does anything then it is quite scary. Seizure safety needs to be universally known. When someone is having a seizure, use these steps to make sure the person is safe. Make sure the person's head is protected so they don't hit their head. Do not restrain the person. Look for a medical bracelet or necklace. If the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, call an ambulance.

What do people need to know about epilepsy?

What are some myths or misconceptions about epilepsy? How is it misunderstood or overlooked? Share in the comments below!

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