BEACON TRANSCRIPT – On March 26th, people worldwide celebrated Purple Day. On this day every year, everybody is invited to attend events and wear purple in an attempt to raise awareness about epilepsy. They try to support those who suffer from this terrible disease, inform them and those around on how to act when a seizure occurs, and how to maintain their overall wellness.
A few figures regarding epilepsy
Around 50 million people in the world suffer from epilepsy. This means that 1 in 100 people has to struggle with this illness. Moreover, 50 percent of the cases occurred from an unknown cause. This makes it harder to treat and, only in 2015, there were reported 125,000 epilepsy deaths.
As a few known causes, old age might be one, as older people are more likely to develop epilepsy. Also, those who have experienced a stroke have a 2 to 4 percent chance of developing the disease. However, these chances are still low, and the onset of the disease is most likely to occur either in babies or in elderly people. Around 5 or 10 percent of people aged 80 are at risk of seizure without any external causes.
The word ‘epilepsy’ comes from Greek and it means “to seize”, “to possess”, “to afflict”. Sixty percent of the seizures are convulsive. A few of them begin as generalized seizures, which means that they affect both hemispheres of the brain. The others begin as focal seizures, thus affecting only one hemisphere. Unfortunately, these progress towards the other hemisphere.
The other 40 percent of the seizures are non-convulsive, like the absence seizures which does not last more than 10 seconds. The main factors which lead to seizures are, on the first place, stress, followed by alcohol abuse, lack of sleep, or flickering lights.
When someone has a seizure, roll them on their side. Do not put their fingers into their mouths, but rather try to take away everything that might cause them to hurt themselves. If it lasts more than five minutes, or if the person experiences recurrent seizures without regaining consciousness, seek for medical help.
Raising awareness about epilepsy on Purple Day
Events on Purple Day are meant to teach people how to deal with this disease, how to help others who struggle with it, and inform of potential treatment methods. Purple Day is meant to bring people together, let differences aside, and help people live a normal life.
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