Epilepsy Talk

Weird Epilepsy Triggers… | September 19, 2011

Here’s a list of uncommon epilepsy triggers you may have experienced or know about. Feel free to add to this list of the weird and the unknown…

Atmospheric Conditions

Changes in air pressure or any sudden action, (like arising from a prone position too quickly), can act as an instant stressor. Like taking off or landing in an airplane…going up or down on a fast elevator or escalator…

Barometric Pressure

Weather differences such as sudden changes in temperature, dark skies, thunder, or bright, hot sunlight and humidity may be a definite trigger for some.

Body Toxins

Exposure to toxins in our air, water or food, can cause everything from vomiting, diarrhea, liver or renal failure, blood sugar levels, and electrolyte imbalances. Constipation can be added to the list also. When these things happen, all the toxins already in our system build up. It also might be a side-effect of your drugs or it may cause the effectiveness of your medications, but ether way, you are at risk.


You always thought you could be “bored to death” but it can also incite a seizure. By being isolated, having no social interactions, diversions, or recreational activities — all that’s left is to think about yourself and anticipate when your next seizure will come.


The flashing lights and all the noise and hubbub at a casino — ringing bells, blaring music, — is enough to give anyone a headache, no less a seizure.

Dental Problems

Have your teeth and gums checked regularly. Some of your medications just love the calcium found in teeth and bones, making them fragile and prone to breakages and disease. Dental disease can no longer be considered a minor problem with just your gums and teeth. Your state of health (especially the state of your immune system), whether you still have amalgam fillings, the amount of mercury you’ve been exposed to over time, and the amount still present in your body, directly influence the number and severity of your symptoms. You’ll never achieve optimum health if you have poor oral health.


People with hyperglycemia tend to have focal or local seizures. And those who are hypoglycemic, tend to have tonic-clonic seizures. To keep your blood sugar from fluctuating, eat a good breakfast when you wake up. Complex carbohydrates will help start your day and give you sustained energy throughout. Also, try to eat wholesome snacks often during the day to keep your system balanced.


It has been proven that grapefruit/juice/rind/skin can negatively affect some medications. You are probably saying “but I thought these grapefruits were good for me and my health?” Grapefruit juice provides many nutrients such as Vitamin C, but chemicals in grapefruit interfere with enzymes that break down certain medications in your digestive system which, in turn, causes a high risk of bringing on seizures. Tegretol in any form is one of the main anti-epilepsy medications that grapefruit affects.


Sometimes in a stressful situation, it’s the body’s way of saying there is confusion in the brain and it just doesn’t know where to turn. Oxygen is not getting to your brain and the hyperventilation expends vast amounts of energy. You could be in shock and this is where it is difficult to tell whether it is a response from an over stimulated brain or a true seizure. But you could go on to have an epileptic seizure following the stress and lack of oxygen. (For a long time, hyperventilation has been used as a means to provoke seizures. It’s often used to trigger epileptiform discharges and/or seizures during EEGs.)

Immersion in Hot or Cold Water

Anything done too suddenly (a quick change of any kind) can lead to a seizure. Going from cold to a warm temperature, or going from a warm house to a bitter cold day outdoors can shock your system. When having a bath it is best to have the bath water warm rather than hot as getting into a hot bath, along with the added humidity present in the bathroom also may be enough to trigger a seizure. When immersing yourself in cold water it is best to do this gradually and make sure you have another person with you to ensure your safety.

Low Blood Sugar Level

This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.


People with epilepsy are more than twice as likely to develop migraine headaches as those without seizures. Research showed that more than 20 percent of people with epilepsy have migraines, compared to 11 percent of the general population. And there’s an overlap in the two conditions. In another epilepsy study, about 16% of those people who had migraines also experienced epileptic seizures before, during or after a migraine.

Odors and Perfumes

Perfume directly affects the brain and has both a physiological and a psychological effect upon our respiration and breathing, as well as upon our moods and thoughts. Although our sense of smell declines with age, you need to be aware that strong or even subtle smells or perfumes can be one of your triggers for seizures. Sometimes a person who has experienced some seizure activity brought about by a particular odor may not discuss it because they think other people, even their doctors, will think they’re crazy. But it’s for real. And then there are other odors, much less enticing, some of which include paint, hairspray, cleaning products, ammonia, kerosene, car exhaust fumes, gasoline and solvents.


Apparently, playing this thinking game, which can require intense concentration, can induce seizures. (You heard it first here!)


Musicogenic epilepsy is a form of reflexive epilepsy in which a seizure is triggered by music or specific frequencies. Sensitivity to music varies from person to person. Some people are sensitive to a particular tone from a voice or instrument. Others are sensitive to a particular musical style or rhythm. Still others are sensitive to a range of noises.


Causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.


During Ramadan, healthy adult Muslims are required to fast between dawn and sunset which can be a challenge, particularly if you have epilepsy and need anti-epilepsy drugs more than once a day. Recent research has found there was an increase in the number of seizures experienced during the holy month which was probably due to changes in the way anti-epilepsy drugs were taken, sleep patterns being disturbed, going for a long time without food, plus any emotional stress and fatigue.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea includes pauses in breathing, indicated by gasping, snoring or difficulty in breathing during the night. It is more common in men than in women, and often occurs in larger people whose throat muscles and fat tissue cause an obstruction while they’re sleeping. These pauses in breathing can easily be confused with seizures. In fact, having apnea can trigger seizures. Having seizures can also trigger apnea; so it can work either way.



Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. Water is good for us, but it can dilute your medications. It’s best to spread your fluid intake over the day. Your body needs a balance of salt and water. And be cautious of drinking water from plastic bottles and leaving them lying around in the heat.


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Another article that may be of interest is:

Common Epilepsy Triggers




























  1. Great link Phylis – so great that I’ve given you another link from my site:


    Comment by Stephen Hughes — September 19, 2011 @ 9:11 PM

  2. When I had bronchitis and was coughing so severely, the doctor surprised me when he said, “If we can’t get this coughing under control you could have a seizure.” It was so bad that it caused pain in the back of my head, the back of my neck, and my shoulder blades. I think this would be considered an extreme, as in hot to cold or cold to hot. It just shook my body so much. This is an interesting list. Thank you.


    Comment by Maggie — September 19, 2011 @ 9:30 PM

    • Careful Maggie,

      Certain over-the-counter medications (Advil and Tylenol are fine but never take aspirin!) can make you more likely to have a seizure. For example, antihistamines are possible seizure triggers.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 20, 2011 @ 12:03 AM

      • Hi Maggie,

        Do you experience bronchitis often? Or even once a Yr? Does your DR prescribe the Zip Pac (3 day) anti-biotic? Has your DR ever performed/suggested a FEV1 test (breathing test)

        Your comment shocked me, also. I figured loss of oxygen may trigger seizures, I had just never thought of my bronchitis coughs as a trigger. 😦 Which makes sense. 😦

        Love Candi


        Comment by candi — September 20, 2011 @ 6:12 PM

      • yes i remember while younger i would be asleep , then all of sudden start coughing .. during the day , would have a seizure ..drs checked my breathing , x-rays , nothing found . started keeping water at night ..i remember my last seizure 15 yrs ago , started coughing , my husband , couldnt sleep , brought in some cold water ..i was very tired the following day , drs still dont know why only at night


        Comment by Cathy Flowers — September 27, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

  3. I remember back in the 80’s when the psychedelic
    lights and colors could cause people to have seizures.


    Comment by mkfarnam — September 19, 2011 @ 11:15 PM

    • I guess you’re from the disco era, too! 🙂

      I remember a diasterous date where the guy took me dancing.

      So, we’re out on the dance floor jiving…and you know what dancing looked then.

      I was having a seizure but no one noticed. I looked like everyone else, quaking and shaking.

      But when the music ended, everyone went back to their tables. (It was quite crowded on the dance floor.)

      Meanwhile, without the crowds to prop me up, I melted to the floor.

      Last date with that guy!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 20, 2011 @ 12:11 AM

      • Like the wicked witch,LOL

        Yes we’re Baby Boomers.


        Comment by mkfarnam — September 20, 2011 @ 12:28 AM

  4. I would say, anything that could effect your nerves, can most likely cause some people to a seizure.

    I’d think that a persons immune system would have alot to do with it..


    Comment by mkfarnam — September 19, 2011 @ 11:24 PM

    • Like melting on the dance floor. “Ha, ha, ha…I’ll get you my little sweetie.”

      Am I off topic?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 20, 2011 @ 2:20 AM

      • Your the moderator.


        Comment by mkfarnam — September 20, 2011 @ 2:55 AM

  5. My first seizures were spots! I told my mom and then wanted to throw-up and was out like a light! She told me I shook! I don’t remember except the headache at the end and the numbness on one side of the body. Crazy!

    Bronchitis be careful on that one! I ended up in the hospital on that one! My asthma kicked end when I was older. My Internist made me work out more but these wonderful meds made me have osteoporosis 🙂

    Walking outside or inside (treadmill) in front TV. helped the asthma and seizures.

    Music does it with me ,,, did it in the monitoring unit and the next thing I now they are asking me questions and I was listening to Mozart. Then off I went. My mom wanted me to be an organist but music and my brain make me walk in circles !!!!

    I also have deja-vu and funny feelings! Then to wonderful “seizure world!” Tra-la-la ! Phylis something is in the air!!!


    Comment by Toni Robison — September 20, 2011 @ 8:17 PM

    • Research has suggested that Mozart’s K448 piano concerto can actually reduce the number of seizures!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 20, 2011 @ 8:29 PM

      • Wow! go figure !! I’m a classically trained professional singer and have listened and sung in all kinds of groups my whole life. I guess it’s really true, what works for one person can be a disaster for someone else! Yikes!


        Comment by Janet — July 13, 2015 @ 1:29 PM

  6. Don’t try this at home

    But there are a few things that could create an impact to any person with epilepsy and no one would have a siezure.

    one is:
    If they were hit by a train. lol!


    Comment by mkfarnam — September 20, 2011 @ 11:42 PM

    • Hi Mike,
      Sometimes I wonder if you’re on more than just AED’s. LOL


      Comment by Charlie — September 22, 2011 @ 6:54 PM

      • Hi Charlie,
        IMO It’s like this.
        People with a disability have a choise.

        You can either have a sense of humor and make the best out of what you have.
        You can be depressed about your disability,
        and live a life of misery.

        But that’s only my opinion.

        “No offense intented to anyone.”


        Comment by mkfarnam — September 22, 2011 @ 7:20 PM

    • Thanx,asshole…right back atcha!!! Do u know what it’s like, walking down a street, not knowing if at any second u could accidentally step in front of a car? I do & it AIN’T NO FUN!!!


      Comment by Shirlee — December 10, 2015 @ 8:21 PM

  7. I think you’re preaching to the choir here! 😉


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2011 @ 7:50 PM

  8. I agree with both of you, haha
    now as to the subject at hand, at one time in my journey thru Epilepsy, going from a warm car or building and stepping out into a misty or foggy atmosphere was a sure fire trigger when I felt it on my skin.
    I use the term “journey” because as I’ve goten older during the past 30 years my seizures kept changing and getting worse, the trigger’s would change somewhat but not always. not getting enough sleep would make for a wild day or two seizure wise. The full moon was a particular scary time. I was guaranteed a bunch of doozys that time of the month. Some would say that’s not possible, but it was true for me as long as I can remember. and last but not least was changing meds, during my guinnea pig years.


    Comment by Charlie — September 23, 2011 @ 12:20 AM

    • “Patients often have firm beliefs about the immediate precipitant of their seizures. Many of them claim that seizures are triggered or worsened by the full moon, whereas 80% of emergency nurses and 64% of emergency physicians believe that the moon does affect the mental health of patients.

      In a scientific study of 12,156 neurologic cases, 859 cases manifesting epileptic seizures were identified. Five hundred thirty-six patients (62.4%) were men and 323 (37.6%) were women.

      A striking increase in overall seizure occurrences was observed for both genders during the full-moon days, while at all other cycles of the lunar month, the rates of seizure occurrence were significantly lower, ranging between 21.4% for the new-moon days to 22.5% for the first quarter of lunar days.”


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 23, 2011 @ 3:26 PM

      • So they’ve determined that epilepsy is a voodoo curse?


        Comment by mkfarnam — September 23, 2011 @ 3:31 PM

    • After reading article & comments. I don’t feel quite such a weirdo! Some of the triggers mentioned must be a common link? Perfume, barometric pressure & a few others?! I didn’t realise these were SO common. I knew others have had them, Dr told me that. Feels better – I’m not odd after all! ☺


      Comment by haelisimone — September 29, 2015 @ 9:15 PM

      • Nope, you’re not odd at all. Just look at some of the weird triggers other people have! 🙂


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 30, 2015 @ 9:46 AM

    • Nurses know that a full moon affects admissions in hospitals (increases them) and affects labor/delivery profoundly. After all, it IS a kind of barometric pressure, the pull on the tides . . .


      Comment by Chris Keller, MSN,RN — October 5, 2015 @ 1:39 PM

  9. I really don’t know what triggers my seizures. Most of the time I don’t know I’ve had one until it’s all said and done. At one time I could determine how bad they were by the amout of blood, cuts and bruises. Also by the way I felt. Sometimes I’d wake up and walk around trying to figure out were I was.
    For about the last 20 years I’ve only had them(mostly) while I was asleep and only knew by the way I felt when I got the next day.
    At times I would get this strange feeling in my stomach and that was a sign of a seizure coming on.
    Other times i may have thought of some bad experience in the past, or come accross a specific odor or sound and it was like a wand was waved over top of me, a feeling would run through me like a magic spell.
    And that’s all she wrote.


    Comment by mkfarnam — September 23, 2011 @ 2:26 AM

  10. do somebody has grand mal from syrene (police car/fire track) ?


    Comment by ALEKSEY — September 24, 2011 @ 10:13 PM

    • Hi ALEKSEY
      I’ve heard that high pitched sounds can trigger a seizure.
      We have tornado sirens that are tested every month. Just the sound when they go off gives me the chills. So I’m sure they can also be a trigger seizures.


      Comment by mkfarnam — September 25, 2011 @ 6:34 PM

  11. Hi Aleksey & anyone else reading, 🙂

    Yes, sirens & other loud noises (even a phone ringing ) can be possible triggers for some.

    Phylis listed quite a few unusual Triggers. Here is a Link to a page another lady wrote, about Other Seizure Triggers, that includes a few Phylis mite have missed. 🙂 The part about noises is toward the bottom of the page. 🙂


    Love Candi


    Comment by candi — September 27, 2011 @ 2:04 PM

  12. I’ve read all of your input and appreciate all of you. I’ve had seizures since I was 16 but wasn’t diagnosed till I was 32. Then a drug guinea pig for about 15 yrs and “glad” to know other people still struggle w/o complete control.Sorry for your struggles too. Your triggers bring light to all of mine too. Music,memories,arguments w/a son, hot-cold. Husband thought it would be fun to splash cold water in the pool to get used to the water. Ending wasn’t pleasant. Keeping fun after flopping like a carp helps too. The big ones are over. Still deal w/the partial ones. I make sure I keep friends that have a better memory than I do on the bad days too. God has a way of putting good people in my path like you. thanks.


    Comment by Ann — September 27, 2011 @ 3:21 PM

    • It is Great to know others’ are on or have been on the same Journey. Yet, there is sooo much More to Learn. 🙂 It’s Good that you know your Triggers. 🙂 The hard part is avoiding them. Especially around PPL who Don’t Know or Forget. 😦

      I Thank God for the PPL who surround me & Have Supported me over the Yrs. But, actually talking to others’ w/ Epilepsy & sharing, Researching, advising has been a form of Therapy for me. 🙂 I have been seizure free, except for some breakthrus & possible partials last yr, for over 20 yrs. 🙂

      Welcome to Epilepsy Talk. Feel free to voice your opinion/advise at any time. And if you Do have Questions we can help. 🙂

      Love Candi


      Comment by candi — September 28, 2011 @ 12:45 PM

      • Well, its good to hear about your condition. I’ve been ‘suffering’ for the past 33 years – even with medication (every month, at a particular time, I have seizures)


        Comment by Sharon — September 22, 2015 @ 11:55 PM

  13. Keeping friends informed is a very good idea.

    Ann, do you have a good neuro?

    Does your husband go with you to the doctor?

    Any questions?

    Welcome aboard. We’re happy to have you with us!!!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 27, 2011 @ 4:10 PM

  14. Hi Phylis,

    I was just reading some of the input on this subject on CWE. Epileric may have found Research to argue w/ some of your Triggers. But, I disagree w/ him. My Mom started having absence seizures last yr. Her blood was Definitely Mercury Toxic! Doc de-toxed her & so far No More seizures. And I know the DRS in Washington State blamed Atmospheric conditions, at one point, for my Sis. So, are these Really Scams as he suggests? Drs just Guessing? I don’t think so! Just cuz the Majority of PPL (Like how many PPL did they Test? All of Us? HAHA ) do not experience these Triggers does Not mean it’s Impossible! Not in my Book! You can tell Epileric I said So! 🙂 HEHE And, No, I am Not going to join CWE just to add my 2 cents. 🙂 Sides, I ain’t sure he would be willing to Agree to Disagree. 🙂 And they have Plenty of Supporters/advisers as it is. 🙂


    Comment by candi — September 29, 2011 @ 5:14 PM

    • There are a few things I’d like to tell Epileric…and none of them are choice.

      But the funny thing is that the thread’s real popular, despite his disclaimers!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 29, 2011 @ 5:43 PM

  15. Oh & I thought of another weird trigger. Lack of Nutrients/supplements. Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium. Just to name a few. 🙂

    Links for Epileric about the Mercury.



    And this article says it All. DANG SCARY!



    Comment by candi — September 29, 2011 @ 5:26 PM

  16. Typo Error:



    Comment by candi — September 29, 2011 @ 5:28 PM

    • Ah Candi…well researched, knowledgeable and wise…as always.

      THANK YOU!!!!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 29, 2011 @ 5:46 PM

      • I think it’s amazing that this was written in 2011 and all of what you were saying then as triggers are proven triggers today in 2015! Something to be said or the research ya’ think? 🙂


        Comment by Janet — May 26, 2015 @ 1:52 PM

  17. I had a list of the 10 most smoggyest cities in the US.
    Memphis was #1, Pittsburg #2 and I noticed that everyone of these cities are on or near a waterway.

    Exhaust(smog) Emmission Control is a maditory law in California.
    If you have a vehile that’s newer than 1992 and you get caught with the slightest exhaust leak, your fined and your vehicle is ban from the road until the leak is fixed and it must be inspected before your allowed to drive on the road again.
    When register or renew your registration, you must also pass a smog inspection test before it’s approved.
    I’m in OK, but my truck is still equipped with with smog devices because it was bought in Ca.

    Even lawnmowers out there are equipped with a smog device. It’s a small fine mesh screen about the size of your thumb. The mower will run without it. But it can’t be sold in Ca. without it.
    You may have seen stickers on some things that say “not to be sold in California”.
    That’s because it doesnt meet the Ca, EPA code.


    Comment by mkfarnam — September 29, 2011 @ 6:44 PM

  18. Hi Mike,

    I think those inspections should be in every State. And every State Should Enforce Inspections!

    I take it you read the earthday Link? 🙂 I want Phylis to post that link on CWE. Show that guy there is more to Mercury Poisoning than just Tooth Fillings (amalgam? ) 🙂

    Have a Good Day. Glad I don’t live in them Smoggy areas. 😦 Not to say there ain’t none here. I live near a waterway too. The Colorado River is 2 blocks from my house. And even though we are a small town, I see the skies turn brown w/ introverted air, occasionally. I stay inside on them days. 😦


    Comment by candi — September 29, 2011 @ 7:39 PM

  19. The skies in SoCal were always a dirty yellowish brown color and thay always put out smog alerts.
    I can’t believe that LA wasn’t even on the worst 10 list.


    Comment by mkfarnam — September 29, 2011 @ 8:06 PM

  20. There’s a person about to join our support group that developed Epilepsy after a joint replacement surgery. I never thought surgery could trigger Epilepsy. Anyone else heard of that?


    Comment by Charlie — January 19, 2012 @ 9:19 PM

  21. I haven’t heard of it happening before. But the surgeon must have done some nerve damage.


    Comment by mkfarnam — January 19, 2012 @ 9:50 PM

    • Thanks Mike, that makes sense.


      Comment by Charlie — January 19, 2012 @ 10:58 PM

  22. That’s so smart Mike!

    I looked up joint replacement and found nothing. I looked up anesthesia — and seizures afterwards seemed to be anecdotal (unless you had epilepsy in the first place).

    If I hadn’t read my email in such a hurry (or in time sequence) I would have seen Mike’s reply and saved half an hour of “researching.”

    So much for innate intelligence vs. those of us who have to research every little morsel! 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 19, 2012 @ 10:30 PM

  23. Pokemon Seizures Linked to Epilepsy, Not TV

    Children Who Had Seizures After Watching Cartoon Had Underlying Disease



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 8, 2012 @ 12:33 PM

  24. Toothbrushing Triggers Rare Seizures

    Researchers Report 3 Patients With Reflex Epilepsy Suffer Seizures From Brushing Teeth



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 8, 2012 @ 12:38 PM

  25. Mum who is 74 has tonic clonic seizures even with medication. Normally gets one after a stressful or exciting day. Now I wake her up in the morning after 8.00am and get her to lie down or sleep at about 10.30am and again at about 3.00pm. It’s exeactly one month since her last seizure. Yet to see whether it will help.


    Comment by Mary — November 30, 2012 @ 8:11 PM

  26. Hi Mary,

    Well you hit the nail right on the head. Stress is the #1 seizure trigger.

    Stress can trigger hyperventilation which can provoke seizures. It can increase cortisol, known as “the stress hormone” because cortisol is secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress. And, as you may imagine, it’s responsible for several stress-related changes in the body which also may influence seizure activity.

    Negative emotions related to stress, such as anger, worry or fright, may also cause seizures. This happens because the limbic system, the portion of the brain that regulates emotion, is one of the most common places for seizures to begin.

    Another common trigger is lack of sleep.

    Inadequate or fragmented sleep can set off seizures in lots of people. In one study, the lowest risk for seizures was during REM sleep (when dreams occur). The highest risk was during light non-REM stages of sleep.

    Sounds like you’re on the right track!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 30, 2012 @ 11:41 PM

  27. I will agree on hot water being a seizure trigger, because I have experienced this on a few occasions. Also when a person gets depressed or upset, that is another severe problem of mine.


    Comment by Shawna — August 3, 2013 @ 3:35 PM

  28. BOREDOM-VERY TRUE!!! I always worked,sometimes 2 jobs. Neurologist was always nice,kept me seizure free. Retires,NEW NEURO come by,CHANGE/SWITCH my Meds fro Dilantin-few Days LATER what happens-SEIZURE!! Worst off Driving! Had,had nice career as LICENSED CERTIFIED Auto Mechanic w/2yr college degree-UNTIL,UNTIL new neuro changes meds;NOW here i sit no work,no drive. OH YEAH,forgot to say-MADE $16.00/hr weeks w/overtime-takehome pay(after taxes)$1000.00 THANKYOU Dr.!!


    Comment by Ed Hricak — September 21, 2013 @ 9:01 AM

  29. Aha! The grapefruits I ate recently might have caused the auras and/or seizures I have been experiencing. The last one is going in the garbage! Thanks again, Philis, for your blog.


    Comment by Laura M. — January 5, 2014 @ 4:14 PM

  30. sometimes i swear I can incite a seizure if I’m thinking about my past (like anything before my brainsurgery) took out my right temporal lobe and all but a lil hunk of my hippocampus. I lost too much blood so after 7 hrs they had to back out and leave that piece. Going back in to get it soon. Being that my seizures start there I suppose it could just be the seizure bringing up the memories instead


    Comment by Kate Grace Bradwin — January 21, 2014 @ 1:33 PM

  31. Do you think it could be traumatic brain injury as a result of the surgery? (That’s what happened to a good friend of mine.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — January 21, 2014 @ 1:55 PM

  32. Finally glad to read about change in cabin pressure after landing. Everytime I fly I end up in a complex partial seizure that I’m stuck in the entire trip. It looks like drunk and disorderly conduct. The only way I can come out of it is to go into the hospital and get a shot of a cocktail of seizure meds and sleeping pills so I sleep for a couple of days while the dr does an EEG also.


    Comment by Jenn — February 13, 2014 @ 8:55 PM

  33. Could you avoid this by taking extra meds before you go on a plane? I think you should ask your doc if there’s some way you can ward this off before it happens.

    It sounds horrid. And scary.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 13, 2014 @ 9:28 PM

    • The anxiety of flying cant help much either.
      Good luck to you


      Comment by charlie — February 13, 2014 @ 10:12 PM

  34. I have a wedding in Jamaica so my dr is gonna have me try diastat and I’ll use it 15 min before I get off the plane. And I’m going to fly in a day early because I know I’ll sleep from that med. so fingers are crossed! It’s not until July but I’ll keep you posted.


    Comment by Jenn — February 15, 2014 @ 3:25 PM

  35. Sounds like you have your bases covered. Good luck.

    And have a wonderful time at the wedding!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 15, 2014 @ 4:51 PM

  36. Great info. I also suffer from seizures due to numerous effects. Even going to family reunions which are emotional can cause me to have seizures. Grasping at straws for other solutions. Tried numerous approaches. Any other approaches?


    Comment by James Alto — February 18, 2014 @ 2:12 AM

  37. Well, at least you remember their names!

    I’m not trying to blow you off James, this is a BIG problem for all of us — especially the memory thing — and the stress that goes along with it.

    Try looking at “Memory Tips You (Hopefully) Won’t Forget!” It might help you in the memory/stress area, or at least inspire you.


    Also, weird as it may sound, even “happy” stress can trigger seizures!

    Sometimes, seizures occur immediately after a sudden and very stressful event. And we all know that stress is #1 in the hit parade of triggers.

    Take a look at this article, also. “Stress and Seizures”


    Hopefully, you’ll get something from one of them.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 18, 2014 @ 10:05 AM

  38. Also fluorescent lighting which is in most offices. I kept having seizures at work and my dr asked about the lighting and said fluorescent light constantly flicker which can set off seizures and he recommended pink tinted sunglasses for it. I bought the sunglasses but never wore them cause I thought I looked silly and a lot of my coworkers thought I already got too many favortisims which were really reasonable accomadations like knowing when fire drills are gonna happen cause of the strobe lights.


    Comment by Jenn — February 25, 2014 @ 1:03 PM

  39. Well, not to sound too brash, but I had my boss replace the flickering fluorescent lights with incandescent lights.

    But I had an edge. Who would want their writer to go blind??? 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 25, 2014 @ 4:29 PM

    • My last job did but then I transferred to another office that’s much bigger and I don’t think they would even though it’s a school for people with disabilities and many of them have seizures.


      Comment by Jenn — February 25, 2014 @ 8:26 PM

  40. You can’t hurt by asking.

    And so ironic that it’s a school for people with disabilities and many of them have seizures.



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 25, 2014 @ 10:40 PM

  41. I have diabetes,rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, asthma and epilepsy but I try to live life like it’s fine, most people see me and would never think anything is wrong with me, I am a very positive person, now my heart is giving me problems im 37 years old but sometimes I feel much older


    Comment by maria — May 9, 2014 @ 6:29 PM

    • I understand about having all the different problems. It’s not easy staying positive. Sometimes it’s impossible, there is too much pain. There are times when you need someone just to share some of that pain without trying to fix you or tell you how you have to trust God with the pain. We know that, but knowing it and doing it can be two very different things. I will feel your pain for a while and I will listen to you cry. I’ve had epilepsy for four years now, lost my job as an over the road truck driver, lost my excellent credit rating, my new semi- truck, and most of all the love of my life, my wife. The seizures were to much and the medication didn’t do my attitude any good. I am 58 and look 65. Social security says I’m not sick enough for their help and employers say they can’t use a man who has seizures while he’s working. Enough this is about you and your pain, I will listen, I will pray and I will be quiet. May God bless you and make his face to shine upon you.


      Comment by Gary — May 10, 2014 @ 1:05 PM

  42. Maria, I’d say you’re one very brave woman.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 10, 2014 @ 8:01 AM

  43. Gary, don’t apologize, that’s what we’re here for — to share, help, give advice and sometimes, just give someone a big hug.

    I’m sure the loss of your wife must have been the most devastating of all.

    But Gary, please don’t feel bad about saying how you feel. At Epilepsy Talk you can express yourself whatever way you want.

    And by the way, welcome to our family!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 10, 2014 @ 7:22 PM

  44. with mine from what i have noticed , was uncontrollable coughing .. during the night , while i sleep ..guess one night i was coughing , my husband woke me up because he couldnt sleep since then i switched , my sleeping pattern .. sleep during the day , so far so good


    Comment by cathy — July 27, 2014 @ 11:29 AM

  45. Question: Do your sleep on your back? Because that’s the worst position for your breathing and airways.

    “The cough, although very annoying, is a self-defense system of our organism, which in this way ensures a proper breathing and the air passage trough our respiratory system.

    Basically, it increases at night because when we lie down on the bed we favor the mucus deposition along the airways.

    Not to mention that when we are supine or prone, our lung expansion capacity decreases, thus activating this involuntary reflex to excrete harmful substances.

    Do not lie down on your back or on your stomach! The best position is the one on your side!”



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 27, 2014 @ 12:14 PM

  46. Can intense concentration cause seizures? My son has seizures and when he’s concentrating really hard they seem to happen quite often.


    Comment by Kylie — September 21, 2014 @ 11:44 PM

  47. “Although the underlying cause of juvenile myoclonic epilepsy is unknown, certain factors can make seizures more likely in people with the condition. Like other forms of epilepsy, seizures in JME are also more likely during sleep deprivation or after drinking alcohol.

    Sometimes seizures in juvenile myoclonic epilepsy can be triggered by flickering light, like the sun reflecting off ocean waves, or strobe lighting at a party. In some people, ACTS OF CONCENTRATION like decision making or calculations can trigger seizures.”

    WebMD http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/what-is-juvenile-myoclonic-epilepsy


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2014 @ 9:26 AM

  48. Just nice to talk to others who know what you are going through. Know exactly how you feel!


    Comment by Nicole Koloski — November 24, 2014 @ 9:41 PM

  49. Welcome Nicole and make yourself at home! 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 25, 2014 @ 9:12 AM

  50. Mah-Jong could also be triggering seizures because of the bright colors and patterns, along with the concentration required to play it.


    Comment by Chris Arceneaux — November 25, 2014 @ 9:22 AM

    • I always felt Mah-Jong was too much stimulation for my little brain even though I loved the game. My eyes would go bananas after a while and I’d have to stop. It’s video games I have the most trouble with! I can’t tolerate them at all and refer to them as a seizure waiting to happen all the time! LOL

      I completely agree with the atmospheric changes, barometric changes, pressure, weather, humidity, and even the moon! My body feels it all and always has. No mystery here 🙂


      Comment by Janet — May 26, 2015 @ 2:03 PM

      • When I rise too fast, it’s a recipe for a seizure.

        And I’ve just come in from watering my flowers. Heat. Sigh.

        I’m sorry to say, it’s time for bed, to fight this seizure off. 😦


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — May 26, 2015 @ 2:26 PM

  51. Who would have know? I was amazed when I saw it. Thanks for the explanation, Chris!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 25, 2014 @ 11:23 AM

  52. Once again you confirmed many things I’ve believed for a long time! Thanks for the awesome research in this article Phyllis!!


    Comment by Janet — May 26, 2015 @ 2:05 PM

  53. Driving beside trees while the sun is on the other side of the trees causes a flashing light effect which can trigger a seizure.


    Comment by Alan — July 13, 2015 @ 1:12 PM

  54. Yup.

    If you have photosensitive epilepsy, lots of types of flickering or flashing light can incite a seizure.

    Even natural light, such as sunlight, especially when shimmering off water, even sun flickering through trees or through the slats of Venetian blinds.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 13, 2015 @ 1:23 PM

  55. That flickering light thru the trees might give the same effect as a nystagmus of the eyes. For example…if you are driving and you look at the sideview mirror of the driver side of the car while driving it can assimilate nystagmus of your eyes. That movement alone can create a seizure. I can’t speak for anyone else but myself, but I have trouble while watching kids on swings, I have to look away. it must have something to do with the movement….not sure 🙂


    Comment by Janet — July 13, 2015 @ 3:14 PM

    • Nystagmus of your eyes. Now that’s a scary thought.

      But the swings also make perfect sense. Movement, light…


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 13, 2015 @ 5:35 PM

  56. My list, in addition to some of the above:

    1. Eating cereal

    2. Urinating

    3. Watching people argue

    4. The moment in a shower when the shower head starts

    5. Loud bangs

    6. Being startled out of sleep

    7. Writing about stressful stuff

    So….I stop now.


    Comment by stevenlowell — August 1, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

  57. Urinating is a well known trigger that I read about somewhere on a Google search. Sorry, don’t have it any more..


    Comment by Rina Otto — September 22, 2015 @ 10:36 AM

  58. I always thought it was urinating during or after a seizure.

    How often does it happen to you?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2015 @ 10:49 AM

  59. Steven, that’s a loooong list.

    How often do you have seizures as a result?

    Or are those just triggers in general. (Hope so.)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

  60. My 2 biggest triggers are my cycle and de’ja’vue (in conversations).


    Comment by tammy wescott — September 27, 2015 @ 12:53 PM

  61. Tammy, you might have “Catamenial Epilepsy”.

    Perhaps you should read this article:

    Catamenial Epilepsy – Do You Have It?


    Catamenial Epilepsy happens when your seizures worsen just before your period…or during the first few days…or at mid-cycle.

    They are hormone sensitive seizures, a tendency for increased seizures related to your menstrual cycle.

    The causes of catamenial epilepsy are not totally understood.

    It could be an imbalance between your two female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, or you may not be producing enough progesterone during the second half of your menstrual cycle.

    Read the article to find out more…

    I hope this helps.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 27, 2015 @ 1:10 PM

  62. As for the deja vu, my experience was that it was an aura, happening before a seizure.

    I never had it occur during conversation or a seizure. So, I’m stumped.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 27, 2015 @ 1:13 PM

  63. My biggest trigger is

    Water in general. I would just say showers, but it’s to the point now where I just had three brain surgeries this summer. I used icepacks on my face (not directly) or damp clothes and that would trigger it. Actually now, even a very moist chap stick will do it.

    Someone posted a link about a toothbrushing trigger. I actually have that as well. I usually sit when I brush my teeth because of that.

    I am actually curious if it is actually more the liquid touching my lips more so than my face. I have yet to be able to figure this out. Perhaps both. Maybe it is the temperature change associated with what I’m doing in all these instances as well. Maybe it is just too sudden for my body.


    Comment by Emily — November 10, 2015 @ 7:28 PM

  64. Emily, I’m completely stumped. I would guess that it’s the very subtle change in temperature that does it.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 11, 2015 @ 8:46 AM

  65. I did and have experience most of these.
    But didn’t know that playing mah-jong can cause seizures. What about Dominos?


    Comment by Diana — December 21, 2015 @ 9:18 AM

  66. My guess would be yes. But frankly, I don’t know.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 21, 2015 @ 9:27 AM

  67. Been having seizures since I got pregnant in 2008. That’s when they started. Now I’m having issues with my memory. Has anyone else had this problem. I’m usually a calm easy going happy person but this scares me…
    Please help..


    Comment by Acone — March 4, 2016 @ 11:36 AM

  68. Acone, unfortunately, memory problems are extremely common. (And frustrating!)

    Seizures interfere with your memory by interfering with attention or input of information.

    Confusion often follows a seizure, and during this foggy time, new memory traces aren’t being laid down in the brain.

    You might want to read:

    Epilepsy and Memory https://epilepsytalk.com/2014/02/02/epilepsy-and-memory/

    But there are some helpful hints (says the Queen of Post-Its!) in the article:

    Memory Tips You (Hopefully) Won’t Forget!

    If it’s of any comfort, you’re in good company. It’s probably the #1 complaint of people with seizures.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 5, 2016 @ 10:08 AM

  69. […] source […]


    Pingback by Diseases Press | Weird Seizure Triggers! Do you have any? — March 9, 2016 @ 12:58 AM

  70. Adding intense sharp pain. This week I closed a car door on the tip of my finger and had my first tonic clonic in years, complete with vomiting and feeling awful for hours afterward.


    Comment by ospindei — March 12, 2016 @ 10:06 AM

  71. Ouch! I think I’d pass out for a good long time.

    How’s your fingertip?


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 12, 2016 @ 10:31 AM

    • Finger tip is fine. Band aid like any other minor cut. Three days ago now, and today I finally feel normal again and recovered from the seizure.


      Comment by ospindei — March 12, 2016 @ 12:38 PM

  72. Sotimes I look any thing some times it likes a little out of place. some times I almost have a seizure. I glad I can feel one coming on,how to get rid of it. talk at werid.


    Comment by michele metzger — March 12, 2016 @ 12:06 PM

  73. It sounds like those “visual distortions” are one of your auras.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 12, 2016 @ 12:32 PM

  74. Thanks for the counsel everyone. I also appreciate the humor, I’ve been laughing out loud for minutes.

    I have spent periods with over 80 generalized seizures and more than 150 partial ones in less than 24 hours. My sister has at least 10 seizures per day. We have visited prestigious medical and spiritual specialists in several countries expecting favorable results. Diets, yoga, breathing techniques and switching religions have not worked either. Natural remedies? We’ve tried all sorts of them, from magnesium sulphate, herbs, false pepper, violet tree roots, bo tree, all the way to horse, crow, and iguana blood. Despite spending ridiculous amounts of time and money, we are still on our quest to control our seizures.

    As many of you, due to seizures and their consequences, I have temporarily been unable to see, hear, talk, smell, move, and even think properly. My sister has suffered so much, that she now has a very limited intellectual ability. Fortunately, I’m still able to see, hear, smell, think, and taste, for those who can’t. I’m still able to lend a helping hand, I’m still someone to lean on, and as long as I can, I’ll be the voice of those who can’t always express what they want, what they need.

    With that said, I’m here for you. cristobalmarcet@gmail.com


    Comment by Cristobal Marcet — March 24, 2016 @ 5:16 PM

  75. Since I can’t give you any advice on how to prevent your seizures, I will tell you this: Enjoy life at its fullest. Appreciate every scent, every flavor, every texture, every color and figure; but above all, appreciate people. Do everything you can to admire them for their attributes. We all have them!


    Comment by Cristobal Marcet — March 24, 2016 @ 5:35 PM

  76. Gratitude is the attitude and you embody it best Cristobal!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 24, 2016 @ 6:48 PM

  77. 3D movies bring on mine. And the seizures from them for me are severe. I first discovered it when i was a kid i went to see a harry potter movie in 3D. I had one that night when i went to bed. I brushed it off thinkinh it was just a bad day. Few years later same thing even on medicine that stopped my seizures completely watching a 3D. Movie will still make me have one same deal with strobelights.


    Comment by John — June 23, 2016 @ 9:43 AM

  78. I threw up when I saw Avatar. But my husband’s best friend was in the movie, so I had to “take one for the gipper.”

    You might find this article interesting:

    Why 3D TVs Are NOT For Me…



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — June 23, 2016 @ 10:34 AM

  79. I have had epilepsy for about 10 years after head trauma to my left side of my head.And I have noticed that when I don’t go to the bathroom often or when I am constipated I have little epileptic episodes.What could that be?I’m also a smoker and coffee drinker.Also my left hearing is always ringing after my head trauma.


    Comment by Isidro Torres — August 4, 2016 @ 11:17 AM

    • some times when I am at work I will get one of aura seizure. I would have a strong or weak feeling go through me from head to foot, front and back.but I go tell the manger, they tell me to go take a break.but I don,t have to wait, so I go back to work and finish working.


      Comment by michele metzger — August 4, 2016 @ 11:01 PM

  80. The best research I could find is that labored breathing (especially during constipation) can cause a seizure.

    Basically, it’s double stress on your body.



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 4, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

  81. once I start working I don,t know how to slow down I,m like my dad I love to work.


    Comment by michele metzger — August 4, 2016 @ 11:06 PM

  82. I am a pet sitter I suffer from
    Seizures. I went to pet sit for this woman who was the client from
    Hell. She had a small puppy and she had almost every floor covered with plastic. The smell got to me . I needed water I had a headache and felt like I was not getting enough oxygen to my brain. I quit on that woman and the next thing I was in her car taking directions how to get back to her house. When I got home I wrote her and quit. That one day caused me so much stress I still don’t remember driving home.


    Comment by Joanne Collins — September 22, 2016 @ 2:48 PM

  83. Just off the cuff Joanne, aside from the dog, the fumes from the plastic is what could have sent you into a seizure. 😦


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2016 @ 4:11 PM

    • I have already sent a comment. I

      Joanne. Collins



      Comment by Joanne Collins — September 22, 2016 @ 4:40 PM

    • Yes this woman has heavy thick plastic taped to her floors everywhere. I felt immediately stomach sick , headache and a stunned feeling . To be honest with you I was aware talking and walking but still having seizures in my head .it weird.


      Comment by Joanne Collins — September 22, 2016 @ 4:45 PM

  84. Sounds absolutely awful Joanne. You know the act of hyperventilating can send you into a seizure?

    (See above, if you haven’t…)

    “Sometimes in a stressful situation, it’s the body’s way of saying there is confusion in the brain and it just doesn’t know where to turn.

    Oxygen is not getting to your brain and the hyperventilation expends vast amounts of energy.

    You could be in shock and this is where it is difficult to tell whether it is a response from an over stimulated brain or a true seizure.

    But you could go on to have an epileptic seizure following the stress and lack of oxygen.

    (For a long time, hyperventilation has been used as a means to provoke seizures. It’s often used to trigger epileptiform discharges and/or seizures during EEGs.)”


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 22, 2016 @ 5:31 PM

  85. hi, i have a question im photosensitive and i know stress, lack of sleep and repeating adverts or actions, alcohol, been ill and been scared (mostly when woken suddenly or someone jumps out playing a joke) can set me off but lately my fits have gone up again but all i can think of thats setting me off is a dream… as my kids have been getting ready for a disco at school and they have been talking about it for weeks now and its causing me to think of it so in turn i keep dreaming of strobe lighting,

    so my question is, is can dreaming of strobe lighting be setting me off (i have looked for information on it but found none so…

    thanks everyone xxx


    Comment by Danielle Rowland Beaumont — October 19, 2016 @ 5:11 PM

    • yes it can, because your thing about. 9 time,s out of10 you may get one. When I fall in a deep sleep what ever I dream about is real, I can tell what it was about who was in it, who said what,and were we were. untill I woke up, and find myself in bed.


      Comment by michele metzger — October 19, 2016 @ 11:05 PM

  86. Danielle, it doesn’t appear you’re alone.

    Night time seizure or bad dream?


    But, after researching, I too, ended up empty handed. 😦


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 19, 2016 @ 5:29 PM

  87. thanks michele,and thanks phylis,
    (i think its a bit of a relief that im not going nuts (well in a way im already nuts lol)
    i know on a night or in the day if i go to bed with out my music on i end up having my non epileptic ones and hell i will say now they scare me more than my epileptic ones as with them i can feel everything and i try to shout to get help but cant do jack about it (its like waking up and doing something to then wake up again over and over type of feeling with them) and i have had them last up 8 hours, i also tend to have them after a fit


    Comment by Danielle Rowland Beaumont — October 20, 2016 @ 7:46 PM

  88. I’m guessing these comments are on weird triggers that causes seizures. I see my triggers or root causes of my seizure condition is not on the list. When people who lives with seizures, may investigate & research themselves how food chemicals & what we eat or drink can cause seizures, then and only then maybe will this food chemical issue be taken seriously after 50% or more people start realizing foods, drinks & the AED’s we all take can all be triggers & root causes for any type of seizure one may have at any AGE, because the brain when it seems to be growing from the day it starts acting at birth, years can go by so fast, that when you can figure out a few things about your condition, and NOBODY pays attention to your concerns, 50 or more years has gone, then you have no credit to what you believe, because times & years in treating seizures is changing so fast, that common sense in knowing WHAT & HOW seizures can happen gets ignored, when the person who lives with the condition has the insight to the problem, more so than the neurologist or doctor treating the problems with seizures. Just know that no human brain lies, but it has to be aware too what is effecting it, and when too many AED’s are taken, they all in working against a human brain, will make the thinking cells & etc… work slowly or stop to the degree, words from doctors have to think for your brain, because drugs has slowed down most thinking ability when 2 or more AEDs are being used daily. So all glutamic acids in all foods & drugs will work against any human brain to act normal to the degree it can think good for you, but you have to make the choice to change what & how your human brain will be today & in the future. The book EXCITOTOXINS,,, The Taste That Kills by Dr. Russell Blaylock is worth reading starting asap. Nothing weird about the facts he writes in his book & none of it is propaganda or lies.


    Comment by C D — October 20, 2016 @ 8:49 PM

  89. mine is caused by genetics on my real dads side of the family (so not caused by food or drinks (alcohol can cause fits but thats because alcohol nullifies the medication (so i dont drink) (also drinking too much alcohol even for a person who is epilepsy free can cause fits)


    Comment by Danielle Rowland Beaumont — October 21, 2016 @ 9:14 AM

    • Danielle, Often times the genes are carried over.

      Researchers estimate that more than 500 genes could play a role in this disorder.

      However, it is increasingly clear that, for many forms of epilepsy, genetic abnormalities play only a partial role, perhaps by increasing a person’s susceptibility to seizures that are triggered by an environmental or external factor.

      Like photosensitivity. (Did you know that 25% of people with primary generalized epilepsy are photosensitive?)

      While abnormal genes sometimes cause epilepsy, they also may influence the disorder in more subtle ways…

      Genetic Testing

      For example, one study showed that many people with epilepsy have an abnormally active version of a gene that increases resistance to drugs.

      This may help explain why anticonvulsant drugs do not work for some people.

      Genes also may control other aspects of the body’s response to medications and each person’s susceptibility to seizures, or seizure threshold.

      Abnormalities in the genes that control neuronal migration – a critical step in brain development – can lead to areas of misplaced or abnormally formed neurons in the brain that can cause epilepsy.

      And in some cases, genes may contribute to development of epilepsy even in people with no family history of the disorder.

      These people may have a newly developed abnormality, or mutation, in an epilepsy-related gene.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 2:20 PM

  90. When I’m having a seizure will I wake up after falling in pool


    Comment by Michael w head — October 21, 2016 @ 10:51 AM

  91. Swimming in a pool is not such a great idea without supervision.

    (I know, that’s the last thing you wanted to hear!)


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 21, 2016 @ 2:22 PM

  92. Too true phylis, must say i think i have the drug resistant gene as i have to have twice the normal dose of my antiistamens (icant spell) when i have a bad alirgic reaction also im on long term painkillers where as i have them and im still fine just hurt a bit less but when others i know have been on half the dose im on and they are out for the count including my other half lol, i also use sleepers and/or melotoning 10mg if i cant sleep to reduce the risk of me fitting but other ppl the over the counter stuff knocks them out and at times im like i have had sleeper and melos and its now 4am y the hell am i still wide awake… even tho nearly all of the meds im on causes tiredness which i have at 9pm every night, one time i was in hospital i couldn’t sleep and they gave me some of their knockout juice and morphine and an hour later i was still awake so drs gave me more and was still awake, he was like ok i dont understand this any normal person would be out in 30min…. i just turned round to him an said well i must not be normal as i know i should be out cold … so if there is a gene that causes drugs to be 75% less effective i think i have it


    Comment by Danielle Rowland Beaumont — October 23, 2016 @ 6:47 PM

    • Well Danielle, do you get any relief or partial relief?

      There’s a fascinating thing I just heard about called drug-gene testing which is also called pharmacogenomics, or pharmacogenetics.

      Both terms characterize the study of how your genes affect your body’s response to medications.

      The word “pharmacogenomics” is combined from the words pharmacology (the study of the uses and effects of medications) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions).

      Some genes are responsible for how your body processes medications.

      Pharmacogenomic tests look for changes or variants in these genes that may determine whether a medication could be an effective treatment for you or whether you could have side effects to a specific medication.

      What Pharmacogenomics Testing Does

      The purpose of pharmacogenomic testing is to find out if a medication is right for you. A small blood or saliva sample can help determine:

      Whether a medication may be an effective treatment for you

      What the best dose of a medication is for you

      Whether you could have serious side effects from a medication

      The laboratory looks for changes or variants in one or more genes that can affect your response to certain medications.

      Current limitations of pharmacogenomics testing include:

      One single pharmacogenomic test cannot be used to determine how you will respond to all medications.

      You may need more than one pharmacogenomic test if you are taking more than one medication.

      Pharmacogenomic tests are not available for all medications.

      Because pharmacogenomic tests are available only for certain medications, your healthcare provider determines if you need to have a pharmacogenomic test prior to beginning a specific treatment.


      I know it’s a shot in the dark, but do you think this kind of testing could be used to find a med(s) that actually work for you?


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 23, 2016 @ 10:19 PM

      • i know with me phenobarbital like most epilepsy medication increases my metabolism weather its this or the gene that makes things less effective i dont know, i know if i eat something and then have my phenobarbital half an hour later im hungry again which can be annoying at times (mostly for the other half) also i have found if i dont eat after and im hungry the hunger just get worse and worse as if i have been ill by mouth for 3 days


        Comment by Danielle Rowland Beaumont — October 26, 2016 @ 7:54 AM

  93. Michael when i use to go swimming i use to let the lifegards know im epileptic and if it was in a pool where there is none i told the other swimmers and when they got out i did, but i dont swim any more as my back would not take it, i have fitted when in the bath before but thankfully the first time it happend the other half was in the room having a pee… and since then he or my oldest sits with me in the room which is good as in total i have fitted in the bath 4 times (have lost hair at times but my life is worth more than my hair) thankfully so far i have not fitted while jamie my oldest was watching me but all my kids know if i fit in the bath pull the plug and grab me by the hair and try and keep my face above the water and to shout for their dad


    Comment by Danielle Rowland Beaumont — October 23, 2016 @ 6:58 PM

  94. OMG Danielle. How horrid. I’m sure glad there’s someone around for those terrible times of emergencies!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 23, 2016 @ 10:24 PM

  95. phylis, I joined agroup my epilesy team,now people are tell me about there life. wonder what they can do about it, I picked people who had seizures as bad as I had.I teach a class just like you.


    Comment by michele metzger — October 24, 2016 @ 12:11 AM

  96. That’s wonderful Michele. Just keep it an open forum and let them talk. People will jump in to help each other.

    Or you can have a topic specific session…like auras, types of epilepsy, therapies. And you’re welcome to “borrow” information from here.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2016 @ 9:48 AM

    • I also been telling some of them to join here,If they do I don,t know. and thank you, I not smart enough to thank of stuff like this I just answer there qusetions .


      Comment by michele metzger — October 24, 2016 @ 10:32 AM

  97. Well, you can always direct them here if they have any complicated questions or need answers. Just tell me the topic and I’ll send you the link.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 24, 2016 @ 11:55 AM

  98. It,diffrent things, some are putting them selfs down, so worry alot . the class is called team epilepsy, it,s stores of that talk about thier life, and you pick who who you want on your team.


    Comment by michele metzger — October 24, 2016 @ 7:56 PM

  99. Sounds terrific! Go girl!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 25, 2016 @ 9:43 AM

  100. Danielle, I don’t really know the answer, but research shows that, over time, the effectiveness of your anti-epilepsy drug may decline.

    Almost all first, second and third-generation epilepsy drugs lose their efficacy after prolonged treatment.

    Perhaps it’s because your metabolism builds up a tolerance to the drug. And ramping up the dosage can work.

    Or it may be a functional tolerance where your brain receptors have become resistant to the drug. In that case, a change in medications may help.



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 26, 2016 @ 10:25 AM

  101. Hi, Phyllis, Have you ever heard of Nystatin (anti fungal medication for Candida Albicans) causing seizures? Thanks.


    Comment by Martha — May 27, 2017 @ 9:18 PM

  102. Strange triggers to add:
    Purring cat
    Alarm clock
    A swervy car ride/getting car sick
    Lighting storm is a big one!!!


    Comment by abodyofhope — May 29, 2017 @ 10:01 PM

  103. This is like playing Yahtzee while drunk. You roll the dice and the die has no numbers. So we backtrack and while research continues, leads do not. So, we rename cause and effect, while the patient becomes irritated with the name games.


    Comment by Foghorn The IKonoclast — June 6, 2017 @ 2:37 PM

  104. Reblogged this on TBI Rehabilitation.


    Comment by Kostas Pantremenos — August 13, 2017 @ 4:52 PM

  105. my daughter is having epilepsy(reflex).it is triggered by looking at the patterns,like net on Windows,jeans pattern,knitted clothes etc.she is having treatment in Texaschildren hospital.if any one in the group has the pbm plz do share I will be really greatful.


    Comment by aliya Abdullah — August 21, 2017 @ 12:56 AM

  106. A lot of times if I’m out walking, I have to avoid looking at sidewalk chalk on the ground, it can trigger my seizures.


    Comment by Natalie webster — August 21, 2017 @ 3:56 PM

  107. Rippling water with the sun shining on it and evenly spaced lights on the road can effect photosensitive epilepsy


    Comment by Caroline — September 3, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

  108. Wow, this was an amazing read. I haven’t had a seizure in almost 18 years that I know of, and luckily I don’t need medicine. Mine used to be caused by video games, but the final one I had was due to stress. There were a couple instances after my last one where high temperatures almost triggered one. I feel that getting enough sleep, eating properly and not stressing are the keys to my success. Video games and other triggers have not been an issue for many years now. Lately, I’ve been into meditation and I think that helps a lot. I’m always looking for new and refreshing ways to relax. I discovered binaural beats and the results have been so-so. I noticed that there is a warning at most sites about taking precautions to use this technology if you have a history of epilepsy. I’ve never had a seizure from music or any sort of sound. Is it possible for someone to develop musicogenic epilepsy later?


    Comment by BTS — December 9, 2017 @ 6:47 PM

    • Yes, it is possible to develop musicogenic epilepsy at any point, but I think you’re well past it.

      And perhaps your meditation has something to do with it.

      One small study of adults with epilepsy who practiced meditation for 20 minutes per day for a year, found that they had fewer, shorter seizures and a change in EEG patterns.

      The patients in the control group didn’t show significant changes.

      UCLA neurologist Jerome Engel clearly thinks there is some value in meditation.

      Engel described reasons to believe that meditation might help control seizures.

      It increases hippocampus growth, increases fiber connectivity throughout the brain, and generates lots of activity in the mesial temporal lobe, where a lot of epilepsy is focused.

      So perhaps that IS the secret to your peace of mind. And I congratulate you both on your journey and your own self discoveries.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 9, 2017 @ 8:09 PM

      • Thanks so much for the informative and uplifting response Phylis! As a matter of fact, the binaural beats I was referring to is supposed to help with meditation, so to actually find a warning sign labeled to this technology was frustrating. And even though it’s been so long since I had a problem with seizures, I’ve had a couple setbacks career-wise. Because on employer health forms I admitted to having a history of seizures. The fact that I didn’t need, nor want medication was to the prospective employer the equivalent of just having one yesterday, even if it was almost two decades ago. I suppose because of variables and liabilities, that my clean driving record and lack of evidence of even being brought to a hospital because of seizures (records archived after 10 years) wasn’t good enough. But I digress. One door closes, another opens! 🙂


        Comment by BTS — December 16, 2017 @ 1:11 PM

      • I think this article will interest you…

        Epilepsy: Meditation vs. Medication


        And, by the way…

        Epilepsy, Employment and the Law



        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — December 16, 2017 @ 3:02 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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