Life expectancy in epilepsy
What is the life expectancy for epilepsy? Is it possible to die from epileptic seizures? How to protect the life of a sick child or adult?
The death rate in epilepsy is twice as high as in healthy people. We are talking exclusively about deaths, which relate only to epilepsy and seizures, and not to any other disease, for example: brain tumors, heart disease, and breathing disorders.
Can you die from epilepsy?
Short answer: yes. You can die from epilepsy.
There are certain risks associated with the disease, which can be fatal if the child or adult does not receive the necessary treatment and control of epileptic seizures is not possible.
There is also no unequivocal answer to the question: how old do people with epilepsy live? Patients with epilepsy can live to a ripe old age and lead an active lifestyle, no different from completely healthy people.
Leading causes of epilepsy deaths in children and adults
- Sudden death during sleep . If generalized tonic-clonic seizures occur at night more than several times a year, then this can be life-threatening and even fatal. Sudden death syndrome in a patient with epilepsy was a mystery for many years, since their cause was not established. However, a few years ago the cause was identified: after an epileptic seizure, brain activity is suppressed, which is why the automatic breathing mechanism cannot start.
- Various accidents , mainly death in the water (bath, sea or pool), various accidents related to falls and traffic accidents.
- Status epilepticus , death in which, in most cases, is associated with concomitant diseases, such as brain metastases. Epistatus (ES) in children and adults requires urgent medical attention, as it can last for more than an hour and lead to irreversible brain damage.
If you or your child is diagnosed with epilepsy, do not panic and worry about a fatal outcome. In your case, it is important to consult an epileptologist, undergo all the necessary examinations and choose the appropriate treatment, which will help to avoid accidents.
How to protect the life of a child or adult with epilepsy?
If epileptic seizures occur during the day, it is important to take precautions that will protect you or your child from injury and accidents. Of particular danger to patients is unsupervised swimming in water bodies or taking a bath with the door closed. This is due to the fact that if an attack occurs in the water, then the child or adult will need help.
Some sports can also be dangerous, where the patient may fall from a height or a bicycle on a mountain path, for example.