Epilepsy: Causes, Treatment, and Insurance Coverage
Published On Dec 22, 2022 10:00 AM By InsuranceDekho
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Epilepsy is a chronic, non-communicable brain disease that can happen to people of all ages. More than 50 million people across the globe are affected by this neurological disease. Epilepsy patients have a three times greater risk of departing this world as compared to the general population. According to the reports, up to 70% of epilepsy patients can avoid seizures if their condition is identified and treated correctly. Though health insurance companies usually do not cover epilepsy, you can still use the insurance plan to your advantage. Do you want to know "how"? Continue reading to find out! However, before that, let’s first understand what causes epilepsy and how it can be treated.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition in which the normal nerve cell activity of the brain is disordered. As a result, the person may have disturbing episodes known as "seizures." During a seizure, a person may exhibit unusual behaviour, symptoms and sensations that could occasionally result in unconsciousness. You may notice very few common symptoms among different seizures. Usually, epilepsy is treated with medication, but various other methods such as curative surgeries and dietary changes may also cure it.
Types of Epilepsy
Listed below are the two types of epilepsy that are classified based on the seizure experienced by the patient.
- Generalized Epilepsy:
Under this epilepsy type, the patient’s brain is invaded by abnormal electrical impulses, which result in seizures.
- Partial Epilepsy:
This type of epilepsy is also known as focal or localized epilepsy. In this case, a small, localized part of the brain generates abnormal electrical impulses that cause seizures. Causes Of Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can be caused by faulty brain wiring, physical injury, infection, and others. Here are some of the main causes of this order.
- Infectious Diseases:
Some infectious diseases, such as encephalitis, meningitis, and others, can result in a blockage between the blood and the brain. As a result, toxins may be released, and the patient may develop epilepsy.
- Genital Factors:
The person may be more prone to epilepsy due to genetic mutations such as an excess or lack of hormones that control nerves.
- Stroke and Trauma:
Seizures can also be caused by strokes or physical damage to the brain or skull.
- Brain Structure Abnormalities:
Some physical and qualitative brain structure disabilities, such as abnormal neuronal or glial proliferation, excess or limited neurons in a specific brain area, and others, can cause epilepsy.
- Abnormalities in Immune System:
The presence of autoantibodies against voltage-gated potassium channels can cause epilepsy in some people.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Some of the common symptoms of epilepsy are listed below.
- High fever
- Short-term confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Fear and anxiety
- Seizures lasting more than 5min
- Non-stop seizures
- Jerk movement of arms and legs
Diagnosis And Treatment of Epilepsy
Treatment may help epilepsy patients either cure the disorder completely or reduce the number of seizures. However, a person must undergo some diagnostic tests to understand which part of the brain is causing seizures. Listed below are some of the diagnostic tests that doctors may recommend.
- Electroencephalography (EEG):
Under this diagnosis, sensors are attached to the brain to take readings and find out if any unusual electrical activity is happening inside the brain.
- Magneto Encephalography (MEG):
This examination is similar to the EEG, however, magnetic fields developed in the brain during an activity can also be measured through magneto encephalography.
- Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI):
Radio waves and powerful magnets of an MRI scan can determine any tumour or brain tissue damage and any other abnormalities.
Depending on the diagnosis, a doctor may prescribe medications and other treatments. Some of the common treatments include-
- Anti-Epileptic Drugs
- Surgery that removes the brain tissue causing the seizures
- Control of seizures with a small electrical device
- The Ketogenic diet to control seizures
- Cognitive behavioural therapy
Under some circumstances, an epilepsy patient may require lifelong treatment. However, if the seizure stops, a person can stop the treatment too. Your doctor will prescribe the best treatment depending on the severity of your condition.
Health Insurance For Epilepsy
Inflation in the healthcare sector may become a financial burden for you. Therefore, an adequate health insurance policy may safeguard you economically against the expensive costs of diagnosis, treatments, hospitalization, and others. Though epilepsy is not covered under any health insurance policy, according to the new guidelines of the IRDAI, epilepsy treatment can be covered under health insurance that covers genetic problems, mental illnesses, and psychological disorders.
Thus, it is substantially important to go through the policy documents carefully to know if epilepsy treatment is covered under your health insurance policy.
Epilepsy has become the most common neurological disease worldwide. It can happen to anyone at any stage of their life. However, one can prevent it by following a healthy lifestyle. Apart from this, make sure that you have bought a reliable health insurance policy that covers genetic problems, mental illnesses, and psychological disorders to avoid paying hefty medical and treatment bills from your own pocket.
Also read: Here's why you should upgrade to a multi-year health insurance policy