Awareness,  Epilepsy

5 Seizure Triggers and How to Avoid Them

Seizure triggers are events or circumstances that may provoke seizures. Every person with epilepsy is different and so are their triggers.

Identifying and avoiding seizure triggers can help prevent seizure activity.

Here is a list of triggers and tips:

Missed Meds –

Missing a dose of epilepsy medication is the leading cause of a breakthrough seizure. All of us have forgotten at least once. I definitely have! We’re human. It happens.

Medication reminders help us stay on track and ensure we don’t forget our medication dosages.

Our phones are equipped with alarms that alert us when it’s time to take our medication. Also, there are great apps that are available to download such as:


(Download on iOS and Google Play)


(Download on iOS and Google Play)

Stress –

There is no avoiding stress. Despite the fact that stress isn’t always bad, there are ways to minimize its effects.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Steer clear of situations that you know will trigger stress in your life.
  • Engage in relaxing techniques.
  • Follow your daily routine.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
Sleep Deprivation –

Inadequate sleep has negative effects on health. Particularly, a person living with epilepsy. It is a very common seizure trigger. There are ways to ensure that a sufficient amount of sleep is achieved in order to prevent an increase in seizure activity.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Create a sleep schedule.
  • Remove electronic devices, such as TVs, computers, and smartphones, from the bedroom.
  • Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
  • Minimize light and sound
Menstrual Cycle –

That time of the month can be a major pain. Cramping, bloating, and moodiness. For some women with epilepsy, it’s even more of a pain (annoying or frustrating) when additionally, there is an increase of seizures.

This is called “Catamenial epilepsy” and affects about 42% of women living with epilepsy. I was in that category myself.

There are ways to try to minimize the effects of catamenial epilepsy.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Speak with the neurologist and OBGYN
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol during the time of menstruation
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Stay hydrated
Flashing/Flickering Lights –

This is not exactly a bright idea. For about 3% of people with epilepsy, flashing lights and repetitive patterns can trigger a seizure. This is called “photosensitive epilepsy”

Some common triggers are:

  • Flashing light.
  • Bright, contrasting patterns such as white bars against a black background.
  • Flashing white light followed by darkness.
  • Stimulating images that take up your complete field of vision, such as being very close to a TV screen.
  • Certain colors, such as red and blue.

There are ways to ensure to minimize the impact of these types of lights and patterns.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Avoid attending events containing triggering lights.
  • Wear protective eyewear such as sunglasses or light sensitivity glasses.
  • Take regular breaks from the screen.
  • Sit back from the screen.
  • Watch TV or use a screen in a well-lit room.

Bottom line, we can’t always predict when a seizure will occur. However, we can do our best to prevent potential triggers by learning what they are and avoiding them. I encourage you to apply these tips to your daily life. Hopefully, they can make your life with epilepsy much easier to manage.

Tiffany Kairos

I am a happily-ever-after wife, an epilepsy diagnosee, advocate for epilepsy awareness (The Epilepsy Network), life lover & Christ inspired! Life is a journey and I'm loving every moment of it. Even the bumps in the road!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.