Management of absence seizures
Absence seizures mostly affect children. These seizures cause smaller episodes and milder symptoms than other types of seizures. What causes the absence seizures is not yet known, but it is believed it is caused by genetic changes. While these seizures are curable in most cases. But in rare cases, the seizures get intense and change into severe tonic-clonic seizures. That’s why you should notice the symptoms and visit your healthcare provider for early diagnosis and treatment. Get a consultation with the best neurologists in Brooklyn.
To diagnose absence seizures, the doctor checks your symptoms and medical history. Then, based on the symptoms, the doctor can order some tests to rule out the condition. The tests include:
- Electroencephalography (ECG): This test is most commonly used to diagnose seizures. During the procedure, the EEG machine via small metal plates called electrodes is attached to the scalp or to an elastic cap to measure the electrical activity of your brain. Rapid Breathing, known as hyperventilation during an EEG, can trigger an absence seizure which helps to get the reading of the seizure pattern but creates a different pattern.
- Brain scans: Brain imaging tests such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are used to rule out other problems that affect your brain such as stroke or brain tumor. Brain scans can produce detailed images of the brain so that doctors can tell which area is affected. For these tests, you need to hold the child still for longer or you can ask your healthcare provider if it is possible to use sedation.
Besides these main tests, certain other tests like blood tests, kidney and liver tests, and spinal taps are used to rule out the cause that affects your brain.
Usually, treatment is given by antiseizure medications at their lowest dosage for children. To find the right medications, a trial & error method is used which takes time. Your doctor can increase or decrease the dose of medication based on its effectiveness. Antiseizure medications include ethosuximide, lamotrigine, and valproic acid.
- These medications also have some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, hyperactivity, etc. Valproic acid medication should not be given to women who are pregnant because it can cause developmental issues for the fetus.
- Certain types of antiseizure medications should not be given for absence seizures because they can worsen the seizures. It includes phenytoin, carbamazepine, gabapentin, pregabalin, and vigabatrin.
- A ketogenic diet can be considered if your child is not responding to medication.
- In case your child’s condition is severe, you can give them a medical identification bracelet, which helps others to know about the emergency. You can also educate others about seizures and what they should do if a seizure occurs.
While absence seizures do not cause any brain damage, some children may experience learning difficulties because of their interval in consciousness. Others may experience daydreaming or lose attention.
In most cases, the common long-term effects of an absence seizure are either a person falls or gets injured. Falls aren’t dangerous until they happen many times a day or in some dangerous place.
Usually, children outgrow the seizure with medication when they grow. However, some children may experience full convulsions, such as tonic-clonic seizures because their seizures get worse over time.
If you have any questions about absence seizures, then 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.