Absence Seizures, signs and dangers

March 18, 2020 0 Comments

What’s an absence seizure?

An absence seizure causes a brief interval of “blanking out” or staring into house. Like different kinds of seizures, they’re brought on by temporary irregular electrical exercise in an individual’s mind.

  • An absence seizure is a generalized onset seizure, which suggests it begins in either side of the mind on the identical time.
  • An older time period is petit mal seizures.
  • Absence seizures normally have an effect on solely an individual’s consciousness of what’s going on at the moment, with quick restoration.

What do absence seizures seem like?

There are two forms of absence seizures that will look a bit totally different. Each forms of seizures are brief, and other people usually don’t discover them at first. They might come and go so shortly that nobody notices something fallacious. Or observers might mistake the signs for easy daydreaming or not paying consideration.

Typical Absence Seizures

  • These seizures are the most typical.
  • The individual immediately stops all exercise. It might seem like she or he is staring off into house or simply has a clean look.
  • The eyes might flip upwards and eyelids flutter.
  • The seizures normally final lower than 10 seconds.

Atypical Absence Seizures

  • These absence seizures are referred to as atypical as a result of they could be longer, have a slower onset and offset, and contain totally different signs.
  • The seizure nonetheless begins with staring into house, normally with a clean look.
  • There may be normally a change in muscle tone and motion. You may even see
    • Blinking again and again that will seem like fluttering of the eyelids
    • Smacking the lips or chewing actions
    • Rubbing fingers collectively or making different hand motions
  • An atypical absence seizure lasts longer, as much as 20 seconds or extra.

Absence seizures are so temporary they’re usually missed.

Who’s in danger for absence seizures?

Absence seizures are most typical in kids from age 4 to 14. Nevertheless, older teenagers and adults might also have absence seizures.

Some folks have absence seizures for a lot of months or years earlier than it’s acknowledged as an issue.

What causes this delay?

  • It’s quite common for folks to mistake absence seizures for daydreaming or not paying consideration.
  • Absence seizures are more than likely to have an effect on kids, and paying consideration is a standard downside for youngsters. Since daydreaming can occur usually at school for a lot of totally different causes, it might be onerous to know if the staring is a seizure or not.
  • Typically the primary clue {that a} baby could also be having absence seizures is when she or he begins having hassle at school.

What’s it prefer to have an absence seizure?

  • When folks have absence seizures, they aren’t conscious of what’s occurring round them. For instance, they won’t discover if somebody tries to talk to them throughout a seizure.
  • If an individual is talking when their seizure begins, they’ll cease speaking, usually in the midst of a sentence. It might look like a pause to an observer.
  • Typically a baby might have many absence seizures in a row.
  • An observer might not see the start or finish of a seizure. The individual could look confused and never know what has occurred.

What occurs after an absence seizure?

When an absence seizure ends, the individual normally continues doing no matter they had been doing earlier than the seizure. They’re virtually all the time wakeful and capable of assume clearly. Usually, no first support is required for the sort of seizure.

When absence seizures occur shut collectively or an individual has many in a day, the individual might look or act confused and lose monitor of what has been happening. For youngsters at school, they is probably not conscious of what has occurred within the classroom, miss directions from the instructor, or have incomplete work.

If somebody has absence seizures, how usually will they occur?

  • The variety of absence seizures an individual might have varies lots.
  • Seizure medicines can management absence seizures in lots of kids so that they have uncommon seizures or none in any respect.
  • Different folks might have lots of of temporary absence seizures a day.

How are absence seizures identified?

  • written description of what occurred is vital. Normally this description comes from individuals who have seen the seizures: a mother or father, instructor, or different member of the family.
  • An EEG (electroencephalogram) shall be achieved if the occasions sound like seizures or different signs have occurred. The EEG checks {the electrical} exercise within the mind for patterns normally seen in absence seizures.
  • Throughout the EEG, chances are you’ll be requested to breath quick or shut your eyes whereas lights are flashed quick. These items might make it simpler to see absence seizure patterns on an EEG.

How are absence seizures handled?

Sure seizure medicines may also help stop absence seizures. Normally these are really helpful for most kids. The medicines mostly used for absence seizures embody ethosuximide (Zarontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakene), or divalproex sodium (Depakote).

In about 7 out of 10 kids with absence seizures, the seizures might go away by age 18. If this occurs, medicines is probably not wanted as an grownup. Kids who begin having absence seizures earlier than age 9 are more likely to outgrow them than kids whose absence seizures begin after age 10.

For different kids, seizure remedy could also be wanted long-term. A neurologist may also help you be taught in regards to the dangers, remedies, and outlook for the longer term.

What ought to I do if I feel my baby might have absence seizures?

If you happen to assume your baby could also be having absence seizures, speak to your baby’s physician about your considerations immediately. Absence seizures could also be confused with different forms of seizures. That’s one more reason why it’s so vital that your baby see a physician for an accurate analysis. If the analysis shouldn’t be clear or your baby continues to have issues, see an epilepsy specialist (referred to as an epileptologist).

Youngsters who’ve absence seizures aren’t normally at risk throughout a seizure. Nevertheless, absence seizures might trigger your baby to

  • Have hassle studying at college
  • Have social issues
  • Misbehave extra usually

How can I inform the distinction between absence seizures and daydreaming?

If you happen to’re questioning whether or not your baby is daydreaming or having absence seizures, listed below are just a few key variations to search for.


  • It’s extra more likely to occur when your baby is bored (for instance, throughout an extended class at college)
  • Normally comes on slowly
  • May be interrupted
  • Tends to proceed till one thing stops it (for instance, the instructor, a pal, or mother or father getting the kid’s consideration)

Absence Seizures

  • Can occur anytime, together with throughout bodily exercise
  • Normally come on very immediately, with out warning
  • Can’t be interrupted
  • Finish on their very own, sometimes inside 10-20 seconds

How can I inform the distinction between absence seizures and focal impaired consciousness seizures?

Seizures that contain staring and a change in consciousness are generally mislabeled as absence seizures. Folks usually confuse absence seizures with focal impaired consciousness seizures.

There are some key indicators that occur earlier than and after a seizure that assist us to determine which kind of seizure an individual is having. The size of a seizure and the frequency of seizures are additionally useful observations to maintain monitor of. All of this info, together with the outcomes of EEG testing, may also help to precisely diagnose which kind of seizure an individual is having.

The next options are extra suggestive of focal impaired consciousness seizures:

  • Warning (aura) previous to the seizure
  • Confusion and sleepiness after the seizure (postictal state)
  • Length longer than 30-45 seconds
  • Frequency is much less usually than each day

Kinds to Report and Describe Seizures

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