Absence Seizure Symptoms, Treatments & More

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By lio
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Reviewed: dr. stavarache
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Epilepsy.' NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/epilepsy.
  • 2. MD, Authored By: Elaine Kiriakopoulos, and Authored Date: 08/201 'Absence Seizures.' Epilepsy Foundation, www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/absence-seizures.
  • 3. 'Absence Seizures.' Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/epilepsy/absence-seizures.
  • 4. 'Absence Seizure.' Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Feb. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/petit-mal-seizure/symptoms-causes/syc-20359683.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

When picturing epilepsy, many people may imagine full-body shaking and obvious jerking movements. But there are many types of seizures and many types of epilepsy. Any burst of electrical activity in the brain can cause a seizure, and some seizures may be difficult to recognize initially.1‘Epilepsy.’ NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/epilepsy.

An absence seizure, sometimes also called a petit mal seizure, is characterized by staring into space or blanking out. Unusual electrical activity in both sides of the brain causes people with absence seizures to momentarily lose awareness. It’s almost like someone hit pause on a person.2MD, Authored By: Elaine Kiriakopoulos, and Authored Date: 08/201 ‘Absence Seizures.’ Epilepsy Foundation, www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/absence-seizures.

1. Symptoms of an Absence Seizure

The most common symptom of an absence seizure is staring into space. A person who’s moving or talking may abruptly stop in place, although they usually won’t fall to the ground. Their eyes may roll back or their eyelids may flutter.

These seizures usually only last for around ten seconds and are more common in children than adults. The person will usually be able to go back to the activity at hand afterward, although they may be confused at the lapse in time. During an absence seizure, people have no awareness of what’s going on around them. Absence seizures can be so brief and quiet that bystanders might not notice them.2MD, Authored By: Elaine Kiriakopoulos, and Authored Date: 08/201 ‘Absence Seizures.’ Epilepsy Foundation, www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/absence-seizures.

Absence Seizure

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