Previously known as petit mal seizures, this type of seizure is more commonly seen in children. Let us read on to know how it can be managed effectively in everyday life.
A seizure is caused by a brief period of abnormal electrical activity (electrical impulses) in a person's brain. An absence seizure has a generalized onset, meaning, it starts on both sides of the brain simultaneously. In this type, there is a sudden loss of awareness characterized by blank staring that lasts for a couple of seconds.
They are of two types:
In typical absence seizures, the onset is with a blank stare, often mistaken for daydreaming. It lasts nearly 10 seconds and is followed by the return of consciousness.
In atypical absence seizures, the onset is also with a blank stare, but it lasts about 20 seconds and involves other involuntary actions such as lip smacking, eyelid fluttering, jaw movements, and finger rubbing.
Signs and Symptoms
Doctors are not sure of the real reason it occurs in some children. But, it is believed to be hereditary. In some others, it seems to be triggered by flashing lights or rapid breathing.
Once a parent, teacher or friend suspects something to be wrong, it is important to seek expert opinion without further delay. The doctor will recommend an EEG (electroencephalogram) if he suspects a seizure.
The doctor may suggest certain medications to prevent recurrence of episodes. Commonly prescribed drugs include:
Future episodes can be prevented from occurring by:
Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018 - 2 min read
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