Read about absence seizure medical facts: what is the definition of absence seizure, what are the signs and symptoms, medical treatment & how to treat absence seizure, information about the causes, diagnosis, and related absence seizure diseases.

Definition: What is "Absence Seizure"?


Absence seizure is more commonly known as the petit mal seizure that involves some a brief episodes or some sudden lapse of conscious activity. This occurs most often in children. Absence seizure may often look like the individual is only staring into space for a several seconds. This means in comparison to the regular epileptic seizures, the petit mal is very mild. However, some people may suffer from hundreds of episodes a day, which interrupts ordinary activities.

Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms of absence seizures include lip smacking, fluttering eyelids, staring without unusual movements, chewing & hand movements. These episodes may last for ony a few seconds or so & full recovery is instantaneous.

Treatment: How to Treat "Absence Seizure"?

There are a number of available medications that can effectively reduce or even eliminate episodes of petit mal seizures. However, looking for the right medication as well as the exact dosage can be quite complex & often requiring some trial & error & should only be administered under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.


In most cases, there are no underlying cause can be detected for absence seizures. Most children only seem to have some genetic predisposition to them. Most often, hyperventilation & flashing lights can help trigger an absence seizure.


Some children may experience episodes that look a lot like absence seizures, but aren't truly seizures. However, these may also be a sign of mental retardation, ADHD & autism. An electroencephalography & brain scans can help diagnose absence seizure.

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