Photosensitivity and seizures
Seizures in later life
When people in their sixties, seventies, or eighties experience unusual feelings — lost time, suspended awareness, confusion, seizures — they may think their symptoms are caused by some of the physical or mental problems that sometimes accompany aging. But there may be another explanation for what is happening: they may have become one of the 300,000 American senior citizens with epilepsy. For a long time epilepsy has been seen as a condition that affects young people, often starting in early childhood; sometimes lasting throughout life. But now we know it can affect anyone at any age. In fact, a careful look at the statistics shows us that it’s as likely to begin in the sixties, seventies and eighties as it is during the first ten years of life. Having epilepsy at any time of life takes some getting used to. People want to find out about the disorder, how it’s treated, and what kinds of changes it may make in their lives.
Seizures, Fevers, and Other Conditions
Febrile (fever-caused) seizures affect many children between the ages of 3 months and 6 years. Febrile seizures are not the same as epilepsy, although in rare cases they may be the first seizures experienced by a child who develops epilepsy later on.
Epilepsy in later life
Currently, epilepsy affects about 300,000 seniors nationwide; most rapidly growing population group with epilepsy. Causes include after-effects of stroke, tumor, or cardiovascular events. Epilepsy in the eldery poses more difficult problems in treatment because of age-related issues and use of other medications, increases risk of falls, broken bones, loss of independence.
Living With Epilepsy
Although there are always exceptions, senior citizens with epilepsy who are otherwise in good health and whose mental abilities are unaffected can usually continue to live independently. Families may find this idea difficult to accept. With the best of intentions, they often become overprotective, making an older relative more dependent than is necessary.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, a seizure in a child with epilepsy that ends after a couple of minutes does not usually require a trip to the emergency room.