Doctors bust myths about epilepsy

This year, on World Epilepsy Day which is also observed as ‘Purple Day’, doctors tried to bust some of the myths and misconceptions associated with epilepsy that continue to have an upper hand over facts.

Even as awareness programmes are conducted, the most common among the myths, doctors say, is that, people continue to believe that handing over metallic objects to patients would stop epileptic seizures. Neurologists who spoke to Deccan Herald on the eve of World Epilepsy Day said that this would only harm the patient. 

Dr P R Krishnan, consultant neurologist, Fortis Hospital said the belief that handing over objects such as keys or knives would not control seizures. “In reality, it would only cause more harm to the patient as they are not in a state of consciousness,” he said . 

He also pointed out that seizures last for about one to two minutes. “By the time those around the patient hand over the object , the seizure would have already subsided.

Unfortunately, people believe that it is the metallic object that has helped regain normalcy,” he said. The belief that those who suffer from fits are possessed and that it is a curse of god is another myth that looms among all sections of the society, opine doctors. “People also believe that this condition is incurable and thus those who suffer from epilepsy must not get married,” said Dr H V Satish Babu, Neurosurgeon, Aakash Hospital.

Dr Babu further added that hot water epilepsy, a form of epilepsy that affects children after being bathed in extremely hot water was common in South India. “People, bathe the child in extremely hot water as a part of the traditional ritual. This might sometimes lead to seizures. Hence, it is advisable to use only luke warm water on children and begin with the back first,” he explained. 

World Epilepsy Day or ‘Purple Day’ is observed on March 26 every year. 

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