Certain activities could be dangerous if you have a seizure while doing them. Activities include:
- Swimming. If you go in water, wear a life preserver and don't go alone.
- Bathing. Bathing also can pose a risk of drowning. Shower instead.
- Driving a car or operating other equipment. Most states have licensing restrictions for driving for people with a history of seizures.
The force of a seizure or falling as a result of a seizure can cause injury. In extreme cases, seizures can be fatal, particularly if medication is not taken consistently or properly.
Types of injuries that can occur with seizures include:
- Joint dislocations
- Head injuries
- Bone fractures
Whether repeated seizures can cause brain damage has been studied extensively, but there's no simple answer.
The longer a seizure lasts, the more likely it is to lead to changes in brain function and structure. Repeated brief seizures also can lead to brain changes, sometimes causing a normal brain to become epileptic, a process known as kindling.
The seriousness of repeated seizures underscores the need for control with medication.
Jun. 10, 2014
- Seizures and epilepsy: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/detail_epilepsy.htm. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Tonic-clonic seizures. Epilepsy Foundation. http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/aboutepilepsy/seizures/genconvulsive/tonicseizures.cfm. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Schachter SC. Evaluation of the first seizure in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Seizure disorders. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/seizure_disorders/seizure_disorders.html. Accessed March 11, 2014.
- Schmidt D, et al. Drug treatment of epilepsy in adults. British Medical Journal. 2014;348:g254.
- FDA Drug safety communication: Aseptic meningitis risk with use of seizure drug Lamictal. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm221847.htm. Accessed March 12, 2014.
- Ahmed R, et al. Epilepsy in pregnancy. Australian Family Physician. 2014;43:112.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.