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Absence seizure

This problem has another name, which is petit mal seizure and it is associated with the sudden lapse of brief conscious activity. This problem is usually present among children and when it strikes, people around the patient may get the impression that the sufferer is just staring for a few seconds. These seizures are mild, when compared with other epileptic seizures, but they can surely be harmful and dangerous. The problem can be great if seizure occurs when bathing or swimming, since a person can drown. Somebody has to monitor this activity when performed. Driving should be forbidden, along with many other activities which can be dangerous for a person with this kind of problem. There are medications, called anti-seizures medications, which can control the absence seizures. The problem should be eliminated during the teen period, but sometimes the problem persists and in this case, the grand mal is created.


The most common symptoms include small arm movements, hand movements, chewing, fluttering of the eyelids, lip smacking and staring without moving. The seizure is usually very short, lasting only few seconds and when it goes away, the person will not recollect of the seizure. In some cases, these seizures may be very frequent, even appearing hundreds of times during just one day. This can certainly present a problem, especially, in school. This problem can sometimes be hard to notice, but the first sign may be the decrease of the learning ability of the child. For the seizures, there is no first aid need. Still, the visit to the doctor is needed if the automatic behavior or lasting confusion occurs. Automatic behavior includes activities like eating without being aware of the activity.


A child may suffer from something that looks like absence seizure. This can be tested just by calling the child name. If the child is having absence seizure, it will not answer. When you see a doctor, the doctor will inquire about the seizures and be sure to describe them in detail. In order to determine the proper cause of the seizures, the doctor may recommend giving blood sample and running tests. The use of electroencephalography will monitor and measure the electrical activity of the brain. Electrodes will be attached to the scalp via elastic cap or paste. When this is applied, doctors will try to provoke a seizure. This is done by flicking lights on and off. If the seizure is provoked, the EEG will determine if absence seizures are present. Images of the brain can be acquired by the use on MRI. This process is painless and it can rule out brain tumor or stroke as the cause of seizures.

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