Epilepsy Awareness – Risk Factors & Causes
Epilepsy, also known as seizure disorder, is a neurological disorder, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It is marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, unusual behaviour, sometimes loss of consciousness, and convulsions.
Anyone can develop epilepsy at any stage during their lifetime. The disorder affects both males and females of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds. It is not contagious or infectious, nor is it a mental illness or psychiatric disorder.
Factors that may increase your risk of epilepsy:
- Age: The onset of epilepsy is most common in children and older adults, but the condition may occur at any age, at any time.
- Family history: If you have a family history of epilepsy, you may be at an increased risk of developing a seizure disorder.
- Head injuries: Head injuries are responsible for some cases of epilepsy. Reduce your risk by wearing a seat-belt while riding in a car and wear a helmet when cycling, skiing, riding a motorcycle or engaging in other activities with a high risk of head injury.
- Stroke and other vascular diseases: Stroke and other blood vessel (vascular) diseases can lead to brain damage that may trigger epilepsy. To reduce your risk; limit your alcohol consumption and avoid cigarette smoking, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
- Dementia: In older adults, Dementia can increase the risk of epilepsy.
- Brain infections: Infections such as meningitis causes inflammation in your brain or spinal cord and may increase the risk of epilepsy.
- Childhood Seizures: High fevers during childhood can sometimes be associated with seizures. Children who have seizures due to high fever generally won’t develop epilepsy. The risk will increase if a child has a long seizure, another nervous system condition or a family history of epilepsy.
The underlying causes of the epilepsy is unknown (idiopathic epilepsy) in approximately 66% of cases. Possible underlying causes of symptomatic epilepsy include: A head injury occurring at any age, A birth injury, Alcohol and drug abuse.
National Disability Rights Awareness Month
According to research, 5% – 12% of all South Africans live with some form of disability – and 20% of these have epilepsy – which is double the amount in developed countries. About 1 in 20 people will have an epileptic seizure at some point in their lives, while 1 in 100 will have seizures on a regular basis.
People with epilepsy are still able to do physical and intellectual work, and should not be treated differently. South Africa commemorates National Disability Rights Awareness Month every year from 3 November – 3 December.
Epilepsy Awareness Bracelet
The Epilepsy Awareness Bracelet form part of our fundraising efforts for all the precious AOM children. We love them all dearly, and wish to help them on an ongoing basis with medical expenses. We can not see our vision and mission through without your support. It truly goes a long way, and we are grateful for each and every one of you for giving these children a chance at a brighter future. 🙏
The Epilepsy Awareness Bracelet cost R35; consisting of purple wooden beads with crystals – and a Diamanté Awareness Ribbon Charm. Colour options include: Purple, Lilac, or Dark Purple. To place and order, contact the agent in your area or shop online. Alternatively, please consider a donation; any and all donations welcome.