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An Overview of Absence Seizures

Published by: Very Well Health
Written by: Reza Shouri, MD

An absence seizure, often referred to as petit mal seizure, is a non-convulsive seizure that is often not recognized as a seizure at all. Absence seizures usually occur in children who have epilepsy, but adults can have them as well. While absence seizures are not as disruptive or obvious as convulsive seizures, they cause impairment of consciousness and interfere with learning, driving, and other aspects of life.1

Absence seizures are typically a childhood condition. For children who do not have other types of seizures, absence seizures tend to stop on their own after adolescence. Often, children who have epilepsy characterized by multiple seizure types also experience a significant decrease in the absence seizure type after adolescence.1


Absence seizures can go unnoticed. They can occur several times a day and rarely cause disruption, noise, or clearly obvious manifestations. Sometimes, a person may experience them for months before others begin to take notice. Click here to read the rest of the story.