Raise Epilepsy Awareness with Purple Day

 

 

Photo provided by: Pinterest
Photo provided by: Pinterest
Krystie Morrison
Photographer

Purple Day is coming and you should be aware! People all around the world will be showing their support for epileptics by coloring the globe purple March 26. Why purple you ask? That’s the awareness color for epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a neurological illness that can be caused by head injuries, traumatic experiences or even passed through the family genes. In some rare cases of epilepsy, the cause is unknown and treatment will not work.

The Epilepsy Foundation states that one in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their life. Currently, there are over 65 million people in the world who are diagnosed with epilepsy and three million of those diagnosed live in the United States.

Over 150,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy each year and those numbers are growing fast!

There are different types of seizures that occur when dealing with epilepsy. There are Grand Mal/Tonic Clonic, Petite Seizures, Cluster Seizures and even in some cases, staring spells are considered to be a seizure.

Not every seizure is the same one that is portrayed on television shows where the person is flailing around like a fish out of water.

There is no cure for epilepsy, but in some situations, people who are diagnosed can go a long time without having a seizure. For example, someone could be diagnosed at the age of two and can go their whole life without having another seizure but will still be considered epileptic.

Graphic by: Shelby Clayton
Graphic by: Shelby Clayton

In other situations, epilepsy is treated with medication and brain surgeries. However, these options do not work for everyone and their seizures cannot be controlled.

The result of this happening means that the person can have hundreds of seizures in one day because there is no available help to control their seizures.

There are certain things you should not do if you witness someone having a seizure. It is very important not to hold someone down, put something in their mouth or hold their tongue.

When someone is having a seizure, they lose all control of their body and can hurt you while they are convulsing. You shouldn’t hold their tongue because it is physically impossible for someone to swallow their tongue and it could harm not only the person experiencing the seizure, but you as well.

Even though epilepsy may not seem like a very dangerous disease, you should still take it very seriously because it is in fact dangerous. Between 22,000 and 40,000 emergency calls about prolonged seizures end in death.

SUDEP, Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, is also a rare, but still major concern for people as well.

Here are some important steps to take if you ever experience someone having a seizure. Make sure to remain calm and call 911. After summoning medical help, remove all objects away from the person and place something soft under their head such as a pillow, jacket, or backpack. While you are waiting for help to arrive, make sure to time the seizure and talk to the person experiencing the seizure until they become aware of their surroundings.

I encourage you to learn more about epilepsy and show your support for all those suffering and all those who have passed because of this frightening disease. If you would like to learn more about epilepsy, please visit www.epilepsy.com.

kemorrison@lc.edu
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