News / 22nd April 2021

Epilepsy – myths and facts

In Australia alone, around 250,000 people are living with epilepsy. That’s over 1% of the population[i]. This means most of us would know someone with epilepsy. Despite this, it’s a very misunderstood condition, and many myths exist. Here are a few of the common myths (and the facts!)   

Myth: You’re born with epilepsy

Fact: Epilepsy can actually develop at any age. While a few people are born with this disease, there are others who are diagnosed with it for no clear reason.[ii] 

Myth: There is no real treatment

Fact: Many people effectively control their epilepsy with medication. In fact, up to 70% of people can become seizure-free with medication.[iii] 

Myth: People with epilepsy can’t drive

Fact: Actually, many people living with epilepsy can get a driver’s license if their seizures are well-controlled with medication, or if they fulfil the guidelines set out by the relevant driving authority in their country/state.

Myth: There is just one type of epilepsy

Fact: There are several epilepsy syndromes. Each has its own symptoms, causes, methods of diagnoses and seizure types. The method of treatment will depend on what type of epilepsy a person has.

Myth: A person with epilepsy will have it forever

Fact: Epilepsy is not necessarily a lifelong condition. There isn’t currently a ‘cure’ as such, but some childhood epilepsy syndromes can be ‘outgrown’. Many people with epilepsy can also become seizure free with the right medication.

Myth: When someone has a seizure you should put something into their mouthFact: This is one of the most common myths regarding epilepsy! Never put anything into the mouth of someone who is experiencing a seizure. The person experiencing a seizure can’t control their muscle movements and putting something in their mouth may cause injury.

At My Medic Watch, epilepsy is a condition very close to our hearts. Our app has been designed to help people with epilepsy to lead normal and independent lives. If you would like to know more, please get in touch. hello@mymedicwatch.com


[i] Epilepsy Foundation, About Epilepsy, [online], https://www.epilepsy.org.au/about-epilepsy/#:~:text=In%20Australia%2C%20around%20250%2C000%20people,know%20someone%20with%20the%20condition.

[ii] Epilepsy Australia, Epilepsy Explained, [online], http://www.epilepsyaustralia.net/epilepsy-explained/#:~:text=Current%20research%20has%20identified%20that,to%20having%20seizures%20than%20others.

[iii] Epilepsy Australia, Epilepsy Explained, [online], http://www.epilepsyaustralia.net/epilepsy-explained/#:~:text=Current%20research%20has%20identified%20that,to%20having%20seizures%20than%20others.

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