Partial Seizures: Staying Healthy

SMan and woman walking in park.With a little bit of planning, most people with partial seizures are able to lead active, fulfilling lives. You can, too. Follow these suggestions to stay as healthy as possible and head off seizures before they happen.

Get regular, moderate exercise

Walking and biking are great ways to stay active. Make sure your seizures are under control before starting any exercise program to decrease your risk for injury. Make it safer and more fun by asking a friend to join you or consider organized exercise groups or classes. 

Don't swim until seizures are under control. Then, never swim alone.

Because you could become unconscious or veer off the road due to a sudden movement, there is the potential for danger while cycling if seizures are not well controlled. In addition to the risk for broken bones, head injuries can occur while cycling, so always wear a helmet. 

Find ways to deal with stress

You may have stressors in your everyday life. You may also be feeling some stress from dealing with seizures. But feeling too much stress may trigger seizures. Try some of these ideas to reduce stress:

  • Consider switching job activities if your work is not compatible with epilepsy.

  • Get more help around the house.

  • Look at having seizures as a chance to review your life's goals.

  • Focus your energy on staying well. Many successful people have coped with seizures. 

  • Talk to family and friends about your concerns.

  • Ask your doctor about support groups for people dealing with seizures.

  • Ask your doctor or nurse to show you relaxation methods, such as deep breathing and visualization.

  • Spend time on a hobby you enjoy.

Don't use brain-altering substances

Many chemicals can cause or trigger seizures. Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to seizures. Many illegal drugs also cause severe seizures, even in people who don't normally have them.

Listen to your body

You can sometimes limit seizures by staying in touch with what your body is telling you.

  • Identify events that may trigger your seizures. For instance, flickering lights from the TV, computer screen, or fluorescent lights trigger seizures in some people.

  • Look for patterns that occur before a seizure happens. Some people notice certain sounds, smells, or sights that aren’t really there (called an aura) just before a seizure.

  • Keep your body from becoming overtired. Get enough sleep every night.

  • Get plenty of rest when you are sick. The risk of getting a seizure is high when you are fighting an infection.