Absence seizures Causes Symptoms Treatment

Absence seizures are sudden lapses of consciousness. They are more common in children than in adults. If someone having an absence seizure look like he or she is staring blankly into space for a few seconds. But a quick return to a normal level of alertness. This type of seizure doesn’t lead to any physical injury. The absence seizures can be controlled with anti-seizure medications. But some children who have them also develop other seizures. Many children outgrow absence seizures in their teenage.

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Absence seizures symptoms:

A simple absence seizure can be caused by a lapse in attention. It lasts for about 10 seconds and can last up to 20 seconds without any confusion, headache, or drowsiness afterward.

Absence seizures signs and symptoms include:

  • Without falling sudden stop in motion
  • Smacking lip 
  • Flutters eyelid
  • Chewing in motions
  • Rubbing fingeer
  • Both hands small movements

There are no memory of the incident. But some people have many episodes daily which interfere with school or daily activities.

Before an adult notices the seizures a child may have absence seizures for some time.  The first sign of this disorder is may be a decline in a child’s learning ability. Child have inability to pay attention.

When we go to a doctor

Contact doctor:

  • If the first time you notice a seizure
  • A new type of seizure you notice
  • Take anti-seizure medication if the seizures continue to occur despite.

Absence seizures causes:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Due to abnormal electrical impulses from nerve cells (neurons) in the brain
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Not taking medication that is provided by your health care
  • Emotional stress
  • Flashing lights, bright sunlight
  • Use alcohol and other medication

Absence seizures risk factors:

  • Age: More common in children between 4 and 14.
  • Sex: more common in girls.
  • Family history: Close relative who has seizures nearly half of children with absence seizures.


  • Learning problem
  • Behavior problems
  • Social isolation


  • EEG (electroencephalography): Measures waves of electrical activity in the brain and this painless procedure. Via small electrodes attached to the scalp with paste or an elastic cap brain waves are transmitted to the EEG machine.

Absence seizure

  • Brain scans: Brain-imaging studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help rule out other problems.


Your doctor will start the lowest dose of anti-seizure medication possible and increase the dosage as needed to control the seizures.

Drugs for absence seizure include:

  • Ethosuximide (Zarontin): Most doctors start with for absence of seizures. Side effects of this drug are nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, trouble sleeping, and hyperactivity.
  • Valproic acid (Depakene): For those who have absence and grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures doctors may recommend the use of valproic acid in children.
  • Lamotrigine (Lamictal): This drug is less effective than ethosuximide or valproic acid, but less side effect like rash and nausea.

Lifestyle and home remedies:

Use a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet can improve seizure control.

Successful at reducing seizures for some people using this type of diet like a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet. Glycemic index, and modified Atkins diets but ketogenic diet and may also provide benefit.

Additional options:

  • Take medication correctly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Always wear a medical alert bracelet.
  • Driving or recreation restrictions ask your doctor.

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