Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by monkeybusinessimages/iStock / Getty Images

Preventing Epilepsy

Often, epilepsy cannot be prevented, but sometimes it can. These are some of the most common ways to reduce your chances of developing epilepsy:

Prevent traumatic brain injuries

Brain injuries, also called traumatic brain injuries, are a frequent cause of epilepsy.

  • Ride safely. Use safety belts, child safety seats, airbags, bicycle helmets, and motorcycle helmets to reduce motor vehicle and traffic injuries.
  • Step carefully. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury. Older adults and children have an increased chance of brain injuries from falls.
  • Get help for traumatic brain injuries if they happen. The chance of epilepsy is high with severe brain injuries. Taking good care of the injury may help to avoid epilepsy.

Lower the chances of stroke and heart disease

Take steps everyday to lower your chances of stroke and heart disease. These include eating well, exercising, and not smoking. These health actions may prevent epilepsy later in life.

Get vaccinated

Protect yourself and your family from diseases. Immunizations (also known as vaccines or shots) lower your chances of infection that can sometimes lead to epilepsy. 

Wash your hands and prepare food safely

An infection called cyticercosis is the most common cause of epilepsy world-wide. It is caused by a parasite and it is prevented through good hygiene and food preparation practices. Health screening and early treatment for cysticercosis can prevent epilepsy.

Stay healthy during your pregnancy

Some problems during pregnancy and childbirth can lead to epilepsy.

  • Follow a prenatal care plan with your health care provider, like your doctor or nurse, to keep you and your baby healthy.

Source: Centers for Disease Control. Updated 7/2017