Watch videos and listen to podcasts of our physicians and experts explaining various aspects of epilepsy.
Resources to help patients and families cope, including support groups.
Read past patient success stories.
Access transcripts of past online health chats with epilepsy experts and look for upcoming live chat events.
Find information from other websites about epilepsy, such as health information, treatments and resources for pediatric support.
Find terms and definitions to help you understand epilepsy.
Epilepsy Patient Guides
Common Patient Questions
The medical control available for seizures today enables most patients with epilepsy to live active and productive lives. Few jobs, sports, hobbies or other activities should be out of reach. Still, situations exist in which you have the responsibility to recognize and accept certain limitations.
Below, find frequently asked questions patients ask:
- »Can I drive?
The driving laws in each state differ and may change from year to year. But all have the same intent: If you have an active seizure problem, you should not drive if your seizures could interfere with your control of the vehicle. Typically, it is your responsibility to tell your state Bureau of Motor Vehicles of any condition you have, such as epilepsy, that may affect your driving ability.
Some states allow temporary licenses if your seizures have been under control for a short time. In most states, longer term licenses are available once your seizures have been completely controlled for three months to two years, depending on each particular state’s regulations. Ohio has not set a specific time requirement.
Learn more epilepsy and driving:
- »Can I work?
Though employers sometimes worry about how workers with epilepsy will perform on the job, people with epilepsy generally do well and there is no need for concern. If you have active seizures, however, you should avoid the potential dangers of high places or moving machinery. Though there is less risk if your seizures are under good control, your attention should focus on the particular risks of your own job.
Many states assume liability for accidents that occur at work as a result of known illnesses such as epilepsy. Using specially created funds, called second injury funds, the state encourages the employment of people with certain illnesses. These funds protect companies from financial loss because of liability for related medical costs. Rules for eligibility and use of these funds and Workers’ Compensation laws vary from state to state.
- »Can I play sports?
It is important for people with epilepsy to be physically active. Sports are encouraged, though you should keep in mind the potential consequences of having a seizure while participating in a sport. When swimming, for example, you should always have another person nearby who knows of your seizure risk and is trained in life-saving techniques.
- »Can I have dental work done?
Approximately 20 percent of patients taking the anticonvulsant phenytoin (Dilantin) will have swelling of the gums. If you are taking this drug, it is important that you tell your dentist. Though most patients either have no swelling or control it through good hygiene, it is sometimes severe enough to require gum surgery.
Volunteer to Help Epilepsy Patients & Families
Become one of our on-site volunteer ambassadors, participate in our weekly on-site support group meetings. Or become one of our vital links by helping us network with other families through the web or by phone.
Give Financial Support
Your financial support helps us become better equipped to meet the needs of our patients and their families. If you are writing a check, please make the contribution to the Pediatric Epilepsy Support Group.