Although living with epilepsy may seem overwhelming at times, the good news is that many people with the condition can live full, active lives. BayCare focuses on helping individuals with epilepsy reduce, eliminate or manage their seizures so they achieve as much independence and enjoyment of life as possible.
What is Epilepsy?
Simply put, epilepsy is a disorder that causes recurrent seizures. Typically, the diagnosis is given when someone has had two or more seizures. These seizures occur from surges of electrical impulses in the brain and can take many forms, ranging from the entire body convulsing to staring off into space. Epilepsy may affect individuals at any age from children to the elderly. In fact, approximately one in 26 individuals will develop epilepsy during their lifetime.
Children and Epilepsy
Any parent who has witnessed their child having a seizure has probably been overcome with terror and a sense of powerlessness. And while some seizures may only last a few seconds, they can feel like an eternity.
Epilepsy is more common in children than adults. In fact, it affects more than 300,000 children under the age of 15, and although there is no cure for the disorder, the good news is that many children outgrow it with time. The earlier the disorder is diagnosed, the better the potential outcome.
To ensure the most appropriate treatment, it’s important to properly diagnosis epilepsy and the types of seizures involved, since different seizures respond to different treatments. A thorough patient history, description of seizures and review of other potential health risks will all be reviewed.
BayCare offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnostic testing to provide patients with the best care and treatment for their situation.
A variety of therapies and medications are available to treat epilepsy. Surgery, drugs and even a special diet in some children (ketogenic diet) may be recommended based on the patient’s needs and health condition.
BayCare also offers an innovative new treatment known as vagal nerve stimulation, which involves implanting a pacemaker-like device in the chest and establishing an electrical connection to the patient’s vagal nerve. Patients can actually control the electrical impulses and prevent a seizure by triggering an electrical charge when they feel the onset of a seizure.
For more information or a physician referral, call (888) 906-8935.