Epilepsy is considered one of the most complex neurological disorders which require constant care and monitoring. Patients may be taking anti-epileptic drugs but in some of them seizures tend to reoccur frequently. They require even more care. However, approximately 70% of all patients are treated efficiently and are seizure free.
Goals regarding Epilepsy Patients
General practitioners are supposed to identify patients with epilepsy, perform regular check-ups on at least annual basis and report all the relevant data. Furthermore, they should identify and refer certain patients to other specialists.
As for diagnosing epilepsy, doctors are due to follow a first seizure. They should take an accurate history and also collect data from people who have witnessed seizures. All these data are essential for confirming or ruling out seizures and for making decision regarding monitoring and further tests and exams. Doctors also perform thorough physical as well as neurological examination.
The doctor may also choose to send a patient to some specialist or may inform the affected individual and his/her family how to recognize further seizures and how to behave. If seizures repeat, a person undergoes thorough examination and specific tests which will reveal the underlying cause and help doctors choose the most appropriate treatment.Additional Care and Advice
Once the person is confirmed with epilepsy, he/she is prescribed certain medications. Sometimes doctors may change anti-epileptic drugs until they eventually find the drug that can successfully bring the condition under control. The dose is also carefully determined.
Patients have regular check-ups and must report any seizures that occur between two visits to the doctor.
Additionally, doctors are involved in consultation with patients who belong to special groups. For instance, women suffering from epilepsy may choose to have a child. In such case they should firstly consult their doctor and inform him/her about the decision they have made. In that case women may be discontinued the drug they are taking, are prescribed another drug which is not harmful for the baby or continue with already created treatment with little adjustments and regular check-ups which may help reveal any potential abnormalities during pregnancy.
Doctors must also be consulted regarding activities patients want to participate in. Water sport, for example, can be highly dangerous for such patients because if seizures occur, and there is no one near the patient, he/she may drown. Also, people from patient's surrounding must be familiar with what to do when seizures occur. They need to prevent falls and associated injuries. Finally, some patients may have certain restrictions such as driving restriction until they are seizure free for determined period of time.