Tips for travelling safely with epilepsy conditions

 Tips for travelling safely with epilepsy conditions

Dr Bhushan Joshi

Abnormality in muscle tone or movement due to a sudden surge in abnormal brain activity can be due to a medical condition called seizures. When people experience two or more seizures without any other obvious reason, they are diagnosed as having epilepsy. The kind and intensity of a seizure can have a significant impact on the symptoms that accompany it. While some people have seizures and lose control of their limbs, others suffer a brief lapse of awareness or consciousness.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that 50 million Trusted Source individuals worldwide suffer from epilepsy, while the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that approximately 3.5 million Trusted Source people in the US suffer the condition.

Epilepsy can pose challenges while traveling. However, with proper awareness of the risks, one can still travel safely. These five key epilepsy safety guidelines can make travelling easy for people with epilepsy:

  • Taking proper medications while travelling: It’s important to bring extra prescribed medications when travelling and must keep the prescriptions with them. One should ask their doctor to write a letter explaining epilepsy and detailing the medications they take to control seizures.
  • Initial medication for seizures: Make sure to always keep a small, portable first aid kit for seizures. The emergency medication, a list of current prescriptions, a medical ID bracelet or necklace that clearly shows illness, and emergency contact information should all be included in this pack. Inform fellow travellers where the kit is kept and what it contains.
  • Safety is important. It’s best to travel in a group or with friends if a person suffers from epilepsy to get help and stay safe. Whenever you’re alone, let people know where you’re going. Always keep a cell phone and charger handy for emergency communication. Spend some time researching destinations, being aware of the location of medical facilities, and carrying important documents close at hand in addition to these safeguards.
  • Planning and Research: Do some research on local hospitals and doctors before travel so that you are ready to go in case someone has a seizure and needs medical attention. Finding the right facilities might be simplified by conducting a quick internet search. Before going, put the phone numbers of doctors and hospitals in the contact list. Locating phone numbers in a pinch can be stressful and time-consuming.
  • Insurance is a must. Insurance can be confusing, and it’s even more complicated for people who have epilepsy. Based on epilepsy, insurance companies might increase premiums, accounting for the kind and frequency of seizures. Make sure the policy fits specific needs by becoming familiar with its complexities. Knowing exactly what your insurance covers ensures that you are sufficiently safeguarded, avoiding any possible problems that could result from epilepsy-related issues.
  • Ask Your Doctor: If person experience seizures, discuss with the doctor about emergency medication options. Ensure that have it readily available for emergencies. also, for any concerns or uncertainties, it’s important to schedule a visit to doctor for clarification.

Travelling can be safe and enjoyable for people with epilepsy if they take certain safety measures and stay alert.

Dr Bhushan Joshi is Consultant – Neurology, Manipal Hospital, Kharadi, Pune


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