Identifying Triggers

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Seizure triggers are specific events or circumstances that increase the risk of seizures happening in someone with epilepsy. Some people have obvious seizure triggers and some need time to decipher their seizure triggers. Understanding and recognising them can help to reduce or avoid seizures.

Identifying specific seizure triggers, high risk times of the day and seizure patterns is important for managing seizures.

Commonly reported seizure triggers can include:

  • Missed medications
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stress – physical or emotional
  • Illness – with or without fever
  • Low blood sugar or a long time without food/poor nutrition
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Startle – such as a loud noise
  • Depression, boredom
  • Dehydration
  • Sleep or upon awakening
  • Flashing lights or geometric patterns
  • Hormonal changes in females
  • Other medications or substances (eg caffiene, energy drinks, alcohol)

Keeping a seizure diary is usually helpful in identifying triggers and seizure patterns. This app from Seer Medical may help you track your seizures, patterns and medications.

Most people with epilepsy agree that taking medication as prescribed, learning about their epilepsy and making a few lifestyle changes, reduces the risk of seizures.