Monday, March 30, 2020

Epilepsy Awareness | Purple Day

March 26 was officially Purple Day. Purple Day is a global event to increase worldwide awareness of epilepsy. On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. Last year, people in dozens of countries on all continents including Antarctica participated in Purple Day! I’m excited to announce that Coach Rock Apparel is a company that is passionate about supporting and promoting Awareness and this past month we wanted to raise awareness of Epilepsy. Who has given me these goodies and inspired me share and spread the awareness.

As an Epilepsy Warrior, I am passionate about spreading awareness and eradicating myths about the condition.

  • There are approximately 50 million people around the world living with epilepsy.
  • It’s estimated that 1 in 100 people have epilepsy
  • There are more than 300,000 Canadians living with epilepsy.
  • There are approximately 2.2 million Americans living with epilepsy.
  • Epilepsy is NOT contagious. Epilepsy is NOT a disease. Epilepsy is NOT a psychological disorder.

There is currently no “cure” for epilepsy. However, for 10-15% of people with epilepsy, the surgical removal of the seizure focus – the part of the brain where the person’s seizures start – can eliminate all seizure activity. For more than half of people with epilepsy, medication will control their seizures. Additionally, some children will outgrow their epilepsy and some adults may have a spontaneous remission.

Not everyone can identify specific events or circumstances that affect seizures, but some are able to recognize definite seizure triggers. Some common triggers include:

  • Forgetting to take prescribed seizure medication
  • Lack of sleep
  • Missing meals
  • Stress, excitement, emotional upset
  • Menstrual cycle / hormonal changes
  • Illness or fever
  • Low seizure medication levels
  • Medications other than prescribed seizure medication
  • Flickering lights of computers, television, videos, etc., and sometimes bright sunlight
  • Street drugs
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Epilepsy

Not everyone understands Epilepsy and as a public health specialist, I would like to raise awareness to something so common but oftentimes misunderstood. We must come together as a community to ensure that every person with epilepsy has access to the care and treatment they need, and the opportunity to live free from stigma and discrimination in all parts of the world. It is important to highlight epilepsy as a public health imperative in order to strongly encourage investment in reducing its burden and to advocate for actions to raise awareness in epilepsy, knowledge, care and research. 
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