Epilepsy lifestyle

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Epilepsy lifestyle

For a doctor, the main questions are – the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of epilepsy. It is important for the patients themselves and their families to be able to lead a normal life. The most frequently asked questions are: how will illness and drugs affect the ability to think, work, drive a car, play sports, watch TV, play on the computer, go on vacation at sea, sex life, the ability to have children). 

Currently, in our country, patients with epilepsy do not have social protection – there is no sufficient legal basis to fight for the rights of their children when registering them in kindergarten, school, college, and adults in case of illegal dismissal or employment, and the existing laws do not accessible to the public

The correct organization of the wakefulness regimen is of great importance in the prevention of seizures in some forms of epilepsy! Sleep disturbances should be avoided, late going to bed and early violent awakening should be avoided! 

The diet of a person with epilepsy does not differ from that of healthy people and should contain sufficient amounts of vitamins, calcium and other nutrients. There is a ketogenic diet that can positively affect the incidence of epileptic seizures, but is poorly tolerated and is prescribed only in cases of lack of effect during treatment with antiepileptic drugs.  

Seizure-provoking factors

  • Alcohol increases the number and severity of attacks. Therefore, drinking alcohol is not permissible.
  • Sleep deprivation, violent awakening (phone call, early alarm ringing for work or travel, lack of or significant reduction in sleep)
  • Flickering light (discos, computer games) in cases of photosensitive forms
  • Not taking antiepileptic drugs regularly or canceling them (dose reduction).
  • Taking drugs with proepileptogenic action: some neuroleptics, nootropics (piracetam, cerebrolysin), antihistamines, NSAIDs, estrogens, theophylline, antibiotics (high-dose penicillin, fluoroquinolones, sulfonamides), ketamine, piperazine, sympathomimetics. 
  • Provocative factors can discredit the appointment of ANY ANTIEPILEPTIC DRUGS!

What recommendations on the daily regimen can be given to a patient with epilepsy?

  • A patient with epilepsy needs to sleep a sufficient number of hours a day, to avoid disturbances in the rhythm of sleep, early or abrupt awakenings.
  • It is necessary to choose a mode of operation that meets this requirement, since in many patients, sleep restriction provokes the onset of seizures.
  • Due to the high risk of injury during an attack, it is not recommended to stay near water, fire, moving mechanisms, at a height, or drive vehicles.

TV (for photosensitive forms)

  • You don’t need to watch TV for more than 1-1.5 hours.
  • The distance to the TV should be as far as the room allows (but less than 2 meters).
  • Additional room lighting is required to reduce light contrast.
  • Smaller TVs are preferred.
  • The TV should be color with a softly adjusted contrast and a high sampling frequency (100 Hz). 
  • To control the TV, you need to use the remote control.
  • To reduce the effect of flickering when viewing flickering pictures, flashes, kaleidoscopic shots, you need to close one eye.
  • You should not watch TV if your child has not slept enough, is tired, or is not feeling well enough.

Computer (for photosensitive forms)

  • The duration of work / play on the computer should not exceed 1-1.5 hours with a mandatory break every 30 minutes for 10-15 minutes, which are necessary to rest the eyes.
  • The distance to the monitor should be 70 cm (the extended arm length of an adult with outstretched fingers); the distance from the eyes to the monitor must be at least 35 cm for 14-inch screens. 
  • Additional room lighting is required to reduce light contrast.
  • The monitor should not be exposed to glare from windows or other light sources.
  • The monitor is preferable to choose a liquid crystal, or with a high resolution; give preference to the SVGA standard with a sampling frequency of at least 60 Hz.
  • The monitor screen must be clear and the image parameters must be properly adjusted.
  • Fine details of the image cannot be viewed at close range.
  • It is necessary to remove other monitors and televisions from the field of view.
  • You should not look to work / play on the computer if the child does not sleep well, is tired or does not feel well.


  • People with epilepsy should avoid sleep deprivation, sleep disturbances, and regularly take medication.
  • Nutrition for epilepsy is no different from that of healthy people.
  • Disorders of the psyche, mood and thinking occur in 20-25% of patients with epilepsy (i.e., only in 1/4 of patients), and in most cases they are not severe.
  • People with epilepsy can and should play sports (or exercise therapy), observing certain rules and restrictions.
  • Patients with epilepsy can watch TV and work on a computer, observing a number of rules for photosensitive forms.
  • Flights usually do not provoke seizures if sleep / wakefulness is not disturbed. When preparing for the trip, take the necessary set of medicines and a card with your details and doctor’s coordinates.
  • Alcohol increases the frequency and severity of attacks. Drinking alcohol is not allowed!
  • Some drugs can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, so always check with your doctor before taking any new medication! 

Who should I tell about the disease?

  • Patients are usually advised to talk about their illness to colleagues at work, teachers at school, especially with poorly controlled seizures, so that timely assistance can be provided in case of an attack.
  • It is advisable to wear a special card, bracelet or medallion with information about the disease.
  • Information about the disease is often required when applying for a job and it is not recommended to hide it.

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