Absence Seizures

ADHD Specialists located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn and Rego Park, Elmhurst, NY

Absence Seizures services offered in Midtown Manhattan, New York, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn and Rego Park, Elmhurst, NY

Absence seizures differ from what you might expect because they often come and go without you or your child noticing. The neurology specialists at Beyond ADHD diagnose and treat absence seizures at their three New York City offices in Midtown Manhattan in New York, Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn, and Elmhurst and Rego Park in Queens. Call the nearest office or connect online to request an appointment if you have any concerns about your child’s symptoms.

What are absence seizures?

An absence seizure is a generalized onset seizure, which means the abnormal electrical activity occurs simultaneously on both sides of the brain. Absence seizures typically appear between the ages of 4-14, and they often go unnoticed because they come and go quickly.

If your child only has one absence seizure, they can think clearly after it ends. However, several seizures may occur close together. If that happens, your child may be confused and lose awareness of what happened in the classroom (or wherever they happen to be).

What are the symptoms of absence seizures?

There are two types of absence seizures, typical and atypical, and each causes different symptoms. 

Typical absence seizures

Typical absence seizures, the most common type, are known for:

  • Lasting 10 seconds or less
  • Making your child suddenly stop all activity, then blank out or stare into space
  • Causing subtle eye movements (eyes may turn upward and eyelids could flutter)
  • Letting your child return to normal activities as if nothing happened

Many parents think their child is daydreaming or suffering from inattentiveness. Your child isn’t aware of what’s happening to them during the seizure.

If they’re talking, they stop in mid-sentence when the seizure begins, but since they don’t lose consciousness and continue with the same activity when the seizure ends, it may seem like a natural pause to others.

Atypical absence seizures

Atypical absence seizures usually appear in children before age 6. Many children with atypical absence seizures also have cognitive or developmental disorders.

These seizures last up to 30 seconds and cause different symptoms. The seizure begins with the same staring into space, but then changes occur in muscle tone and movements. Your child may:

  • Repeatedly blink
  • Smack their lips
  • Make chewing movements
  • Rub their fingers together
  • Make hand motions

Your child has a higher risk of falling because the seizure lasts longer.

How are absence seizures treated?

Your child has an electroencephalogram (EEG), which shows electrical activity in their brain and reveals patterns of an absence seizure. Your Beyond ADHD provider prescribes medications that can control the seizures, typically preventing future episodes.

With medication, absence seizures stop by age 18 in 7 out of 10 children. As a result, they may be able to stop taking medications as they reach adulthood.

Call Beyond ADHD or request an appointment online to get compassionate care for absence seizures.