Why is it important to track seizures?

Knowing what happens during a seizure and how often they occur are two of the most important seizure details. Keeping track of seizures can help:

Diagnose seizures:

  • Seizures can look and feel different from one person to the next.
  • A first-person report of what is going on will help the doctor tell if the events are seizures or not. And figure out what kind of seizure it is.
  • Knowing the seizure type will help you and your family know: how to respond to a seizure, what to be concerned about, what NOT to worry about, and when to get emergency help.

Choose treatments:

  • Not all seizure medicines work for all types of seizures. Some are better for partial seizures than for generalized ones or in people with a specific epilepsy syndrome.
  • Knowing the seizure type will help everyone decide which medicine or treatment to try.

Know if a treatment works:

  • Track if seizures happen less often or have changed after a new medicine or treatment is started.
  • If seizures continue or get worse, this information will also help you and your team decide when to try a different treatment.

Identify and manage side effects:

  • Tracking side effects of medicines on seizure calendars can help you and your doctor know how you are tolerating the drug.
  • See if side effects get better over time or go away when a dose is changed.
  • If side effects don't go away, it’s one more piece of information to use when deciding if other treatments should be tried.

Identify triggers and modify lifestyle:

  • Writing down when seizures occur and what happened around that time helps you recognize possible triggers.
  • You may notice a pattern, such as seizures that occur only at a specific time of day.
  • Or you can see if certain factors occur around the time of your seizures, such as not sleeping well, sick with fever or illness, stress or missing medicines.
  • Use this information to make changes and help you get better seizure control.

 

 

Authored by: Steven C. Schachter | Patricia O. Shafer, RN, MN | Joseph I. Sirven, MD on 8/2013
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