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For How Long Does an Absence Seizure Last?|Does Absence Seizure Ever Go Away?

For How Long Does an Absence Seizure Last?

Absence seizures usually last for 10 to 15 seconds. For some people, it can last up to 20 seconds. During this time the patient does not understand what is happening around him. Once the episode of the seizure is over, the patient returns to normal behavior immediately.

For How Long Does an Absence Seizure Last?

How Are Absence Seizures Diagnosed?

  • The initial process of diagnosing absence seizures lie in the hands of the caregivers of the patient. Caregivers must jot down what exactly happens to the patient when he has seizures. This helps the doctor to diagnose the problem from its roots. A caregiver can be anyone who has witnessed the seizure- a parent, a teacher or even any family member.
  • The patient may be asked to go for an electroencephalogram commonly known as EEG. This test is done to check the electrical activity in the brain. If a patient suffers from absence seizures, patterns of the same will be seen in the EEG test.
  • When the patient undergoes ECG test, the patient may be asked to breathe fast or close his eyes when lights are flashed. Such activities help in the easy detection of absence seizure patterns in the EEG.

Do Absence Seizures Ever Go Away?

The question that if absence seizures ever go away permanently is quite subjective. It is seen that children with absence seizures generally outgrow them. Nevertheless, for some people, such seizures progress to even longer and intense ones. Part of it also depends upon the duration of medication taken and the onset of absence seizures. Early diagnosis involves early treatment, which if responded properly to, may decrease the chances of facing absence seizures in future. Whatever the case may be, regular intake of medicines unless asked to stop should be followed.

Medical treatment for absent seizures involves drugs for the prevention of absence seizures. Such recommendations are usually made for most of the children. Some of the commonly used medicines for absence seizures include ethosuximide (Zarontin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), valproic acid (Depakene), or divalproex sodium (Depakote). Statistics show that about 7 out of 10 children with absence seizures are permanently gotten rid of such seizures by the age of 18. Once these seizures go away, drugs may not be needed as an adult. However, yet more pieces of research show that mandatory medication for a long duration of time is needed for few children.

What Are The Complications Associated With Absence Seizures?

It is a known fact that absence seizures occur in the brain, but what is important to understand is that they do not cause brain damage. Thus, the complications of having absence seizures are not quite dangerous-

  • It should be known that absence seizures do not interfere with the child’s development. This means it does not cause any effect on intelligence in most of the children.
  • For few children, they may experience learning difficulties due to the lapses in consciousness. It may look like daydreaming or not paying attention. Parents of children having absence seizures should inform the teachers in schools so that they can be taken care of.
  • If serious complications are to be mentioned, absence seizures may only include the long-term effects which involve if the person falls or gets injured during the seizures. But, it should also be known that sudden falls are not common in absence seizure. In such cases, this should be brought to the immediate notice of the primary doctor.
  • It is seen that some people experience absence seizures a number of times on a single day without serious complications.


  1. Epilepsy Foundation. (n.d.). Generalized Seizures. https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/generalized-seizures
  2. Healthline. (2021). Absence Seizures: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment. https://www.healthline.com/health/absence-seizure
  3. WebMD. (2022). What Is an Absence Seizure? https://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/absence-seizures
  4. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Absence Seizures. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/petit-mal-seizure/symptoms-causes/syc-20355973
  5. American Academy of Neurology. (2017). Epilepsy in Children and Young Adults: Information for Parents. https://www.aan.com/Guidelines/Home/GetGuidelineContent/876
  6. Epilepsy Society. (n.d.). Absences. https://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/absences#.YXHxl9rMK3J
  7. Cleveland Clinic. (2018). Epilepsy in Children and Adolescents. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9639-epilepsy-in-children-and-adolescents
  8. Epilepsy Action. (n.d.). Absence Seizures. https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/daily-life/absence-seizures

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 16, 2024

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