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People with epilepsy can live long and
healthy lives. This health fact tells you what
you can do to stay safe in the event of a
seizure. It will also tell you how to decrease
your risk of future seizures.
Epilepsy is a chronic medical condition that
often can be controlled with medicine or
other treatment plans. Other treatments
include lifestyle changes or surgery. If you
are still having seizures after one year or
despite trials of 2 medicines, please discuss
with your doctor.
Stay with the person who is having a seizure
and time it if you can. Keep the person safe.
This may involve moving the person or
nearby objects to avoid harm. Move the
person to their side if they are not awake.
When to Call 911
If a seizure lasts more than 5 minutes
If the person has repeated seizures.
If the seizure occurs in water.
If the person is injured or if they ask for help.
Do not put anything into the mouth of a
person who is having a seizure. Do not try to
restrain the person.
Most people with epilepsy can enjoy life in
the same way as people who don’t have
seizures. We suggest that you be careful
around activities that could cause injury if
you have a seizure. Do not swim alone,
avoid working on heights or ladders.
To Prevent Seizures
Get regular sleep.
Take your medicine as prescribed.
Manage your stress.
Avoid alcohol and other drugs.
Some people have triggers for their seizures
such as loud noises and flashing lights.
Avoid any clear triggers.
Most states have laws about driving after a
seizure. In Wisconsin, any event that causes
loss of awareness or bodily control would
prohibit driving for at least 90 days. The law
states that people who have had a seizure or
other loss of consciousness should report
themselves to the DMV. They will let you
know the next steps to take and when you
can drive again.
People with epilepsy have a higher risk of
death. This is called Sudden Unexplained
Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). About 1 in
1000 people with epilepsy will die from
SUDEP each year. People can also die from
prolonged seizures or status epilepticus.
Take your medicine as prescribed, talk with
your doctor about new health conditions and
follow your treatment plan to help reduce