Triggers are situations that can bring on a seizure in some people with epilepsy. Some people's seizures are brought on by certain situations. Triggers can differ from person to person, but common triggers include tiredness and lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, and not taking medication. For some people, if they know what triggers their seizures, they may be able to avoid these triggers and so lessen the chances of having a seizure.
Not taking medication
Sometimes called ‘intentional non-adherence’, this is where someone decides not to take the medication as agreed. This might be deciding not to take it at all or deciding to take it but differently to how it was prescribed.
Alcohol, drugs and epilepsy
Alcohol is a common trigger for seizures, especially in the hangover period when your brain is dehydrated. Recreational drugs can trigger seizures for some people and can also interact with medication.
For some people, seizures can be triggered by flashing or flickering lights or patterns. This is called photosensitive epilepsy. Photosensitive epilepsy affects only up to 3% of people with epilepsy.
Music and epilepsy
Music is part of our everyday life and culture. For most people, listening to or playing music is a pleasurable experience. But for people with epilepsy, the relationship with music can be far more complex.
Free smartphone app
Our free smartphone app contains seizure management tools, including a seizure diary to help you monitor your triggers. It is available on both iPhone and Android phones.
£20 provides 10 families with a free information pack
With 600,000 people in the UK with epilepsy, everyone should know what to do when they see someone having a seizure. And they should know when it's a life or death emergency.