by Saunri & Dr.Manvir Bhatia
10 million people in India, suffering from Epilepsy in India are at risk of complications caused by COVID-19 infections. There have even been some reports of COVID-19 infection inducing seizures in patients, hence management of Epilepsy is important during the current crisis. The expression of ACE2 receptors on the surface of neurons could potentially lead to neurological complications of COVID-19. Symptoms such as fever caused by COVID-19 infection could trigger seizures in Epilepsy patients. Many epileptic patients take Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AED) to control their seizures, but these drugs may cause various side effects when combined with other drugs, and hence, need to check, in case Epilepsy patient needs to be treated for COVID-19.
Self-management of Epilepsy during a pandemic
Self-management of Epilepsy is important currently, due to increased burden on the healthcare system, and risk of infection through hospital visits. Self Management of Epilepsy includes:
- Knowledge Acquisition: Educating yourself with regard to your type of Epilepsy and the various issues that accompany Epilepsy along with the knowledge of how to manage it.
- Medication Management: Ensuring that you regularly take your medicines also ensuring that you have a stock of medicines available, is important for the management of Epilepsy during this pandemic.
- Symptom Monitoring: Staying in touch with your physician or Installing apps on your phones that help to track changes in mood or behavior or various other symptoms that may occur, thus helping the management of Epilepsy. These apps can also put you in touch with a network of experts on Epilepsy who can solve various doubts
- Safety Promotion: One must also make sure that they take enough precaution and safety measures to steer away from any known triggers of seizures, by reducing exposure to that trigger.
Elective epileptic seizures should be postponed to prevent hospital exposure and to get better treatment until the pandemic subsides or the healthcare system is back to its full potential.
Use of internet or telephone services for telemedicine or teleconsultation is important to reduce risks from hospital visits. Most people with Epilepsy and their caretakers, know and understand their seizures, and the management of Epilepsy can be done at home itself. If a person with Epilepsy gets a single seizure, he or she must consult with their doctor over telephone, as in most cases, it can be self-monitored at home. However, if a person gets multiple seizures clustered together, which is unusual for their type of Epilepsy, then one must consult the doctor in the hospital. The management of Epilepsy needs to be looked at seriously and appropriate measures should be taken according to the situation.
To seek help or know more about Epilepsy and the management of Epilepsy during COVID-19 you can visit the Neurology and Sleep Centre, the 1st sleep centre in the country accredited by Indian Board of Sleep Medicine at L-23, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi, Delhi-110016 (INDIA)
Or give a call on +91-11-46070321, +91-9643500270,
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