About 5% to 10% of people will have at least one seizure during their lifetimes. For many of these people, the problem is a one-time occurrence that will not return. In about 1 of 10 cases, however, seizures continue to occur, and the person is diagnosed as having epilepsy.
Epilepsy can be a lifelong illness, but many people with a history of multiple seizures eventually will stop having seizures. People who are younger when seizures start and who have a normal neurological examination are more likely to become seizure-free at some point. For people with active epilepsy, the frequency and severity of seizures can be reduced with medication.