Absence seizures, also referred to as silent seizures, or petit mal seizures, are more common in children than adults. When an individual is having a silent seizure, it may appear that he is merely daydreaming for a few seconds.
Symptoms of silent seizures may include fluttering of the eyelids, smacking of the lips, staring off into space, chewing, hand movements and arm movements.
Individuals who have seizures experience an electrical interruption in the communication between the nerve cells and the brain.
Children typically outgrow a silent seizure condition. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, "some people continue to have these types of seizures throughout their lives."
Diagnoses of silent seizures are generally determined by measuring the brain waves using an electroencephalography.
Silent seizures are typically controlled with oral anti-seizure medication such as ethosuximide, valproic acid or lamotrigine.