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Epilepsy Health Center

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Understanding Epilepsy -- Prevention

How Can I Prevent Epilepsy?

In someone with epilepsy, certain triggers can lead to a seizure. Identify and watch for particular behaviors, environments, or physical and emotional signs that precede attacks. It's not uncommon, for example, to feel annoyed or elated several hours prior to a grand mal seizure, and immediately before the attack.

In addition, the person may become aware of a warning "aura" -- perhaps a taste or smell: This warning may allow you to lie down in time to avoid falling. In cases where the aura is a smell, some people are able to fight off seizures by sniffing a strong odor, such as garlic or roses. When the preliminary signs include depression, irritability, or headache, an extra dose of medication (with a doctor's approval) may help prevent an attack. In the case of a Jacksonian seizure, firmly squeezing the muscles around those that are twitching can sometimes halt the attack.

Understanding Epilepsy

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Diagnosis and Treatment


Take precautions if your seizures are not fully controlled. Avoid or limit alcohol, comply with your state's requirements for a seizure-free period prior to driving a vehicle, and educate family members on steps to minimize injury if you have a seizure. Tell them to protect you against falling, and to roll you onto your side if you lose consciousness.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Richard Senelick, MD on February 28, 2015

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