Absence seizures are a type of epileptic seizure that can be identified when there is a sudden loss of consciousness and a vague look, staying still and looking like you are looking into space for about 10 to 30 seconds.
Absence attacks are more common in children than adults, are caused by abnormal brain activity and can be controlled with anti-epileptic drugs.
Generally, absent seizures do not cause physical damage and the child no longer has seizures naturally in adolescence, however, some children may have seizures for the rest of their lives or develop other seizures.
How to identify the absence crisis
The absence crisis can be identified when the child, for about 10 to 30 seconds:
- He suddenly loses consciousness and stops talking if he were talking;
- It stands still , without falling to the ground, with a vacant look , usually turned upward;
- He does not respond to what he is told or respond to stimuli;
- After the absence crisis, the child recovers and continues to do what he was doing and does not remember what happened .
In addition, other symptoms of the absence crisis may be present such as blinking or rolling your eyes, pressing your lips together, chewing or making small movements with your head or hands.
Absence crises can be difficult to identify because they can be mistaken for lack of attention, for example. So it is often the case that one of the first clues a parent may have that the child is having absence crises is that he is having attention problems at school.
When to go to the doctor
In the presence of symptoms of absence crisis, it is important to consult a neurologist to make the diagnosis through an electroencephalogram, which is an exam that evaluates the electrical activity of the brain. During the examination, the doctor may ask the child to breathe very quickly, as this can trigger an absence crisis.
It is very important to take the child to the doctor to diagnose the absence crisis because the child may have learning difficulties at school, develop behavioral problems or social isolation.
How to treat the absence crisis
The treatment of the absence crisis is usually done with anti-epileptic remedies, which help to prevent the absence seizures.
Normally, up to 18 years of age, absence attacks tend to stop naturally, but it is possible that the child will have absence crises for the rest of his life or develop seizures.