What triggers seizures?

Triggers vary from person to person.  Some people with epilepsy can very clearly identify situations that trigger a seizure, while others are unable to find a pattern to their seizures. A common way to identify seizure triggers is to keep a seizure record that includes tracking what happens before each seizure. Common triggers include:

  • Missed doses of anti-seizure medication (most common trigger)
  • Lack of sleep or fatigue
  • Stress or excitation
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Colds, flu or some kinds of infection
  • Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle
  • Alcohol
  • Flashing lights or contrasting patterns (photosensitivity), but only in about 5% of all people with epilepsy

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