Partial Seizures: Staying Healthy

With a little bit of planning, most people with partial seizures are able to lead active, fulfilling lives. You can, too. These tips can help you stay as healthy as possible and head off seizures before they happen.

Get regular, moderate exercise

Man and woman walking in park.

Walking and biking are great ways to stay active. Make sure your seizures are under control before starting any exercise program. Doing so can decrease your risk for injury. Make it safer and more fun by asking a friend to join you. Or try organized exercise groups or classes. 

Don't swim until seizures are under control. Then, never swim alone.

You could become unconscious or veer off the road due to a sudden movement. For this reason, biking can be unsafe if seizures aren't well controlled. Along with the risk for broken bones, head injuries can occur while biking. So always wear a helmet. A stationary bike may be a safer choice for some people.

Find ways to deal with stress

You may have stressors in your everyday life. You may also be feeling some stress from dealing with seizures. But feeling too much stress may trigger seizures. Try some of these ideas to ease stress:

  • Consider switching job activities if your work is not compatible with epilepsy.

  • Get more help around the house.

  • Look at having seizures as a chance to review your life's goals.

  • Focus your energy on staying well. Many successful people have coped with seizures. 

  • Talk to family and friends about your concerns.

  • Ask your healthcare provider about support groups for people dealing with seizures.

  • Ask your healthcare provider to show you relaxation methods, such as deep breathing and visualization.

  • Spend time on a hobby you enjoy.

Don't use brain-altering substances

Many chemicals can cause or trigger seizures. Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to seizures. Many illegal drugs also cause severe seizures, even in people who don't normally have them.

Listen to your body

You can sometimes limit seizures by staying in touch with what your body is telling you.

  • Identify things that may trigger your seizures. For instance, flickering lights from the TV, computer screen, or fluorescent lights trigger seizures in some people.

  • Look for patterns that occur before a seizure happens. Some people notice certain sounds, smells, or sights that aren’t really there (called an aura) just before a seizure.

  • Keep your body from becoming too tired. Get enough sleep every night.

  • Get plenty of rest when you are sick. The risk of having a seizure is higher when you are fighting an infection.

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