Thursday, January 26, 2012
Guest Post: Seven Myths About Epilepsy
Here's a guest post from Casey Roberts, a student who writes for Radiology Assistant, which helps students find the right radiology degree.
Seven Myths About Epilepsy
As many of you know, epilepsy is a common topic of this blog. We thought now would be a good time to discuss more information about it. To that end, we have gathered seven myths commonly associated with epilepsy.
1: Flashing lights – Contrary to what “The Simpsons” and other shows will tell you, epileptic seizures are rarely brought on by flashing lights such as those found in Japanese cartoons. This type of epilepsy is called photosensitive epilepsy and only five percent of those who are epileptic have it.
2: Hold me down – One of the common myths when someone is suffering from a seizure is to hold them down. However, this can cause more problems than it solves. If the person is in a relatively safe place, such as in an area where they can't fall, they should generally not be held down. Instead, move objects that can be collided with away from the person having a seizure.
3: Tongue swallowing – We've all heard the old wives' tale of someone swallowing their tongue during a seizure, but how many times have you actually heard of that happening? It is because this is almost unheard of. In fact, placing an object in the mouth during a seizure can cause more damage than it prevents.
4: It's not rabies – Another myth surrounding seizures is that people can foam at the mouth like a rabid dog. While some saliva may leak during a seizure, there is no foaming of the mouth during them as in someone who could be rabid.
5: On cue – In 2009, a British dancer attempted to bring on an epileptic seizure as a form of art. However, most people with epilepsy cannot bring on seizures at will. In fact, their unpredictability makes the seizures one of the worst parts of epilepsy.
6: You have to be born with it – Unlike other disorders, such as autism, epilepsy is not something someone is born with. It is often a side effect of traumatic brain injury, but anyone can develop it over the course of their life. It is more often to first appear in children.
7: People with epilepsy can't do anything – Because epilepsy is such a wide ranging disease, so too are the people who have it. They can do everything from hold down a normal job to drive a car. It is those with severe seizures who have to rearrange their lives.