You’ve just received an epilepsy diagnosis. Now what?
If you have epilepsy, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help keep your seizures under control. An epilepsy expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explains.
While we’re still learning the full connection between epilepsy and migraines, we do know they often happen together. People with epilepsy or migraines are very likely to have both conditions:
Doctors and researchers continue to study the relationship between migraines and epilepsy. There are a few similarities in how your body reacts to migraines and seizures:
Although it’s possible that a migraine may trigger a seizure, it’s also possible to have what’s called an “aura.” An aura causes tingling and numbness or makes you to see spots, sparks or lines. This is different from an epileptic seizure.
However, an aura can occur just before a migraine — or just before an epileptic seizure.
While migraines may trigger seizures in someone with epilepsy, there is no proof that migraines cause any damage to the brain that makes it epileptic.
Epilepsy often leads to headaches that are as painful as a migraine, but are actually a signal that a seizure is about to start.
Many people with epilepsy don’t mention their headaches to their doctor because they believe it’s just part of their chronic condition.
However, there are ways we can differentiate between epilepsy and migraines. We’ll review the type and frequency of your headache pain, and we may also use imaging tests to confirm a diagnosis.
If you’re diagnosed with migraines in addition to your epilepsy, there are treatments that can provide better pain control. This can include medication, lifestyle changes or even alternative therapies like muscle relaxation techniques or acupuncture.
Whatever migraine treatment is chosen, we’ll always monitor you to make sure nothing interferes with the effectiveness of your epilepsy care.