What should you know about absence seizures?

What should you know about absence seizures?

Do you know about the seizures that affect children? If you don’t know, absence seizures or Petit Mal seizures are the seizures that mostly affect children. These seizures cause a lapse in awareness. It occurs suddenly, without any warning, and lasts only for a couple of seconds. Its symptoms are sometimes mistaken as daydreaming or not paying attention, which is not good. While this condition is treatable, in some cases, children may develop more severe and intense seizures if left untreated or wrongly treated. So, you must know what the symptoms of absence seizures are, so that you can visit your healthcare provider for early diagnosis and treatment. Get a consultation with the best neurologists in Brooklyn. 

Learn about absence seizures in this article.  


While what exactly causes absence seizures is still unknown, however, it is believed that it is caused by genetic factors. Seizures are usually caused by an imbalance in electrical impulses from nerve cells in the brain (which are also known as neurons). These neurons are responsible for sending electrical and chemical signals to control the organs.
It is seen that in people who experience seizures, the brain activity is altered. During an absence seizure, those electrical impulses repeat themselves over and over again in a 3-second pattern. These seizures rarely last longer than 15 seconds but happen suddenly without any warning signs.  

Risk factors 

Certain risk factors can increase the risk of absence seizures, especially in children can include: 

  • Age: Usually, if children are between the ages of 4 to 12, there is a substantial risk of absence seizures.  
  • Gender: Men are more often diagnosed with absence seizures than women.  
  • Triggers: Some triggers like hyperventilation or flashing lights can lead to the absence seizure in certain people.  
  • Family history: If your parents, grandparents, or close relative are diagnosed with epilepsy then your chances of developing absence seizures increase by 41.8%. It is an epileptic syndrome that causes absence seizures and generalized tonic-clonic seizures.  

Besides these triggers, certain other triggers cause other types of seizures that may be similar to this seizure.  

  • Lack of sleep.
  • Emotional stress, worry, depression, or excitement.
  • Not taking proper medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Bright sunlight, loud sounds, etc.
  • Use of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Withdrawal from medication that can affect your central nervous system.
  • Use of medications that can lead to seizures such as antipsychotics (a class of drugs that are used to treat certain mental health conditions) or isoniazids (a drug that is used to treat tuberculosis).


The most common symptom of an absence seizure is having a blank stare for a couple of seconds. During that period, a person doesn’t speak, listen, or understand anything. An absence seizure does not make you fall but it suddenly makes you snap out of the activity you are doing before the seizure. There are some other symptoms you can experience during an absence seizure, including:  

  • Smacking lips or making a chewing motion in the mouth. 
  • Stop moving, becoming very still. 
  • Fluttering of the eyelids 
  • Suddenly return to the activity that you were performing before the seizure occurs.  
  • Loss of awareness 
  • Finger rubbing 
  • Small movements with both hands.  
  • Leaning or moving, forward or backward. 

If you experience jerking motions, then it may be a sign of another seizure with the absence of a seizure.  

If you have any questions about absence seizures or need help with seizures, come to us. Call us on +1-347-384-5690 or visit www.doralhw.org and book your appointment with the best Neurologists in Brooklyn at Doral Health & Wellness. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212. Keeping you safe and healthy is our primary goal.  

Contact us to help your loved ones. 


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