Absence seizure refers to transient, unexpected gaps of consciousness. They occur more frequently in youngsters than in adults.
For a few seconds, someone experiencing an absence seizure may appear to be looking blankly into space. Then there is a rapid restoration to normal attentiveness. This sort of seizure normally does not result in bodily harm.
Anti-seizure drugs can generally manage absence seizures. Some children who experience them develop other seizures as well. In their twenties, many youngsters overcome absence seizures.
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What is Absence Seizure?
According to journal published on NCBI by Anna, “absence seizures are brief seizures during which the patient is unresponsive. They are generally seen in children between 4 and 12 years of age. “
She continues by saying that absence seizure has a classic EEG finding of 3 Hz spike and wave discharges.
Signs and Symptoms of Absence Seizure.
One simple sign that someone is under an absence seizure attack is a vacant look, which may be mistaken for a break in concentration lasting approximately 10 seconds, but it may stay as long as 20 seconds, without any disorientation, headache, or tiredness later.
Absence seizures are characterized by the following signs and symptoms:
- Motions of chewing
- rubbing of the fingers
- Both hands make little motions.
- Without falling, a sudden halt in motion is achieved.
- Smacking of the lips
- Fluttering of the eyelids
Why is It Difficult to Notice First Signs of Absence Seizure?
There is no recollection of an absence seizure episode. Though many people experience few episodes of absence seizure, some folks experience many brief episodes each day that interfere with school or daily activities.
Because absence seizures are so short, a kid may experience them for long time before an adult sees them.
Causes and Triggers of Absence Seizure.
Like other kinds of seizures, absence seizures are caused by abnormal activity in a person’s brain. However, doctors often don’t know why this happens. Furthermore, absence seizure also has similar triggers like other types of seizures.
The following are some of the triggers of absence seizure:
- You are not taking your meds as prescribed by your doctor.
- Emotional tension, concern, or enthusiasm
- Sleep deprivation
- Withdrawal from benzodiazepines and other medicines that affect the central nervous system.
- Use of pharmaceuticals that increase the likelihood of seizures, such as isoniazid (a TB treatment) or antipsychotics (class of drugs used to treat mental health conditions).
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages or other illegal narcotics.
- Taking deep breaths
- Sounds, flashing lights, and direct sunshine
Nursing Diagnosis on Absence Seizure.
An EEG is a type of test that is commonly used to diagnose absence seizures. This test monitors the electrical activity of the brain and detects any irregularities that might suggest an absence seizure.
These tests can also aid in the diagnosis of absence seizures and the exclusion of other conditions:
- Examinations of the blood
- Kidney and liver examinations
- MRI or CT scans
- A spinal tap is used to examine the cerebrospinal fluid.
Prevention and Treatment of Absence Seizure.
Your doctor will most likely begin with the lowest feasible amount of anti-seizure medicine and gradually raise the dosage to manage the seizures. After two years of seizure-free life, children may be able to take off anti-seizure drugs with the help of a doctor.
The following medications are used to treat absence seizures:
Ethosuximide is a kind of antibiotic that is used to treat infections (Zarontin). For absence seizures, this is the medication that most clinicians begin with. Seizures react nicely to this medication in the vast majority of instances. Nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, and hyperactivity are all potential adverse effects.
· Valproic acid (Depakene).
Girls who require medicine until adulthood should talk to their doctors about the potential hazards of valproic acid. Valproic acid has been linked to an increased risk of birth abnormalities in newborns, thus physicians advise women not to use it during pregnancy or when attempting to conceive.
Valproic acid may be prescribed to children who suffer both absence and grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizures.
· The drug lamotrigine (Lamictal).
According to some research, this medication is less efficient than ethosuximide or valproic acid, but it has less adverse effects. Rash and nausea are possible side effects.
As we have seen, absence seizures are mostly characterized by a brief loss of consciousness. They may be difficult to detect since they generally last less than 20 seconds each episode and are more prevalent children. Your child’s teachers are more likely to notice a lack of response or a decline in academic performance which could be a sign absence seizure. Fortunately, up to 75% of children who suffer absence seizures outgrow them on their own throughout their adolescence and no longer require medication.
- NCBI Source – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499867/