All you Need to Know About the Prevalence of Epilepsy in India and its Treatment

Epilepsy is a neural disorder that leads to abnormal functioning of the human brain. It includes loss of awareness, sensations, seizures, and unusual behavior. The cause of seizures is usually unknown, but it can take place due to hereditary reasons or even a brain injury. Stroke is one of the leading causes of epilepsy in adults older than the age of 35 years. Infectious diseases, like AIDS, meningitis, and viral encephalitis, can also lead to epilepsy. This illness can affect people of all ages, genders, races, and ethnic backgrounds.

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    There are close to 50 million people living with epilepsy (PWE) globally. Out of which one-sixth of the people, close to 10-12 million epilepsy patients live in India. And the majority of the people do not receive appropriate treatment. And the treatment gap is one of the largest reasons why it is left untreated.

    In this article, we are going to discuss the symptoms, treatment, and insurance for epilepsy.

    Symptoms of Epilepsy

    The signs and symptoms of Epilepsy are mentioned below:

    • Loss of consciousness
    • High fever​
    • Unaware of the surrounding
    • Temporary confusion
    • Fear, anxiety, and déjà vu
    • Seizures and related complications
    • Jerking of arms and legs

    An epilepsy patient experiences seizures repeatedly, and therefore the symptoms are alike. If you or anyone in your family is facing any of the symptoms that are mentioned above, then you should immediately book an appointment with your neurologist.

    Diagnosis of Epilepsy

    Epilepsy can be hard to diagnose as medical conditions such as panic attacks, fainting, and migraine, have similar symptoms. Your doctor will ask some questions related to seizure, to assess your thinking and memory. So make sure that you tell your doctor everything that you can recall. However, in some case the doctor may ask the patient to go through the tests given below:

    1. Brain Scan- The doctor might suggest a brain scan to detect any tumor growth in your brain. The scan can also detect if there has been a scar or any internal damage. And all of this can cause epilepsy. With the help of magnetic waves and radio waves, your doctor can see a clear image of the brain.

    2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - The doctor conducts an MRI that uses radio waves and powerful magnets to see a detailed view of your brain. This will help in detecting abnormalities and lesions in your brain that can be causing seizures.\

    3. Electroencephalogram - An EEG test uses sensors that are attached to your brain. It helps your doctor in detecting any unusual electrical activity in your brain or absence of it.

    4. Magneto encephalography- MEG helps in identifying the possible areas of seizure onset. It detects brain activity and measures the magnetic fields produced by it.

    Epilepsy Treatment- An epilepsy patient can benefit if he/she gets proper treatment that can lessen the symptoms of seizures or can stop it completely. The treatment generally includes

    • Epilepsy medications called Anti-epileptic drugs
    • Surgery to remove the part of the brain causing seizure
    • A procedure to put a small electrical device that controls the seizures
    • The ketogenic diet as it helps in controlling seizures

    In certain cases, the epilepsy patient might need treatment for life. However, once the seizures stop, the treatment can also be stopped. Your doctor knows better, he/ she will prescribe you the best treatment based on the severity of the disease.

    Medical Insurance

    The advancement in the healthcare sector and modern treatments have drastically increased the cost of the treatment. The advancement is a boon for the healthcare industry, but it has also made hospitalization treatment an expensive affair. Epilepsy treatment can put a strain on your bank balance.

    Therefore, it is suggested to buy a medical insurance policy that offers financial coverage for medical expenses and hospitalization bills, including pre and post hospitalization bills.

    If you are covered under a health insurance policy, you can avail cashless treatment in any of the network hospitals. The insurer pays the bill directly to the hospital. Moreover, the policyholder can avail of tax exemption benefits on income tax. But before you make the purchase it is suggested to read the policy wordings for coverage benefits and features.

    Though there are no specific health plans to cover epilepsy treatment in India, but the new guidelines by IRDAI, make it possible to cover genetic problems, psychological/neurodegenerative disorders, and mental illnesses. Therefore, you can check if the policy also covers Epilepsy.

    Bottom-line

    Epilepsy is a major health issue and it’s time that people start taking this illness seriously. Firstly we need to change our lifestyle and secondly, we need to address this issue as soon as someone you know showcases symptoms. You should get adequate health insurance cover with sufficient sum insured, features, and benefits that can offer you financial cover.

    Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 23 July 2021
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    Disclaimer: Policybazaar does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

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