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Epilepsy is a condition that causes a person to have repeated fits or seizures. A seizure happens when the normal working of the brain is interrupted.

Epilepsy can affect anyone and is quite common. Although epilepsy can develop at any age, most people who have the condition develop it during childhood.

There are different types of seizure and symptoms can vary. Often the cause is unknown, but it can be triggered by drinking too much alcohol, lack of sleep, feeling ill or stressed, certain foods or a poor diet and the flickering lights such as on TV and computer games.

During a seizure you may lose consciousness, become dizzy, experience muscle contractions – where your arms and legs twitch and jerk- or your body may shake or become stiff. A seizure can last from a few seconds up to several minutes.

Epilepsy can be treated with drugs prescribed from your doctor. He or she will provide the best drugs with the least possible side effects to suit you. Drug treatment for epilepsy is usually very successful and can sometimes stop seizures altogether.

Having or witnessing an epileptic fit can be a frightening experience. If you know someone with epilepsy, it is recommended that you learn what to do in the event of a fit and be prepared with some first aid experience.

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