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Frequently Asked Questions On Epilepsy
SPORTS & RECREATION:
Q: Can persons with epilepsy participate in sports and leisure activities?
A: Sports and other types of recreation form an integral part of the daily activities of all young and not so young individuals. Here again a plethora of misbelieves and misconceptions exist. Most of the times, people are surprised to learn that most people with epilepsy can lead an active life. It should be remembered that a person with epilepsy is abnormal only during the ‘seizure’. Such people when not having seizures should be able to lead a life with normal physical and outdoor activities. It is important to know that regular exercise makes epileptic people feel good and builds their self-confidence. It also helps them to maintain body weight in normal range and takes care of a lot of depression that is often associated with a chronic problem like epilepsy. People with epilepsy may get a fit during a physical activity and even otherwise but it does not mean that something drastic will always happen at that time. Over reaction to a fit should always be avoided.
By sensible planning, most sports activities can be made safe for people with epilepsy. Each case must be dealt on individual merits and one should always plan for a realistic physical or recreational activity. Many factors like seizure type, frequency, and associated handicaps should be considered before deciding about sports and leisure activities in relation to persons with epilepsy. In general most sports and leisure activities like ball games, athletics, cycling, dancing etc can be safely undertaken by epileptic persons whose seizures are well controlled. Swimming can also be allowed under supervision of a competent observer. TV and Video games are also safe except in patients whose seizures are triggered on by moving lights. There is no special risk to epileptic persons while traveling. It is important that they should carry sufficient medicines with them and take the medicines at scheduled time. Flying in an airplane is also safe but the airlines staff should be told in advance if fits are not adequately controlled.
Myths & Facts