Question about Absence Seizures

Starburst

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Hi Everyone,
My son (who is almost four) was diagnosed with epilepsy as a newborn. Until this point, his seizures have mostly been nocturnal seizures. He has recently started rolling his eyes way up into his forehead while awake, and the doctor said this is most likely indicative of absence seizures. The problem I am having is that I am not sure if they are really seizures, or if my son is just playing around as he is very smart and expressive and makes a lot of eye movements in general. When he makes these eye movements, it appears to me that he generally does not stop what he is doing (as I have seen children with absence seizures in on-line videos do). Rather, he often continues talking and laughing during the eye-rolling incidents. Is that possible during a seizure?

Also, sometimes after he rolls his eyes, he says, "Oh, my eye," so it seems that he is aware of what he is doing. Typically, he may blink a few times before rolling his eyes two or three times.

I always try not to discuss his eyes in front of him as I want to test him to see what is actually going on. One of his brothers, however, told him to roll his eyes the other day, and he did...which means he is capable of making this movement on his own...even though the doctor told me that it's not possible for someone to purposely roll his eyes that far back into his head.

The other odd thing I have noticed lately is that his left eye often seems to suddenly shut for no discernible reason. Can such a movement also be related to seizures?

He has another appointment with the doctor soon, so I wanted to ask others for their input before our visit.

Strangely, the eye-rolling seems to frequently take place when my son is on the toilet, taking a bath, or eating.
 

Jay1

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I read in one of your other posts that you have another 20 year old son who also suffers from seizures.

Everyone's situation is different but it may be worthwhile to evaluate diet choices since two of your kids are having seizures.

There is something called Lazy eyes which affects coordination between two eyes. It is fixed easily at 4-5 year of age but becomes difficult later. You may want to get your son checked by an opthalmologist to rule out Lazy eyes.
 
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Hello ! Im new here but wanted to let you know what I know about Absence Seizures. My son Derek, now 13, was diagnosed with Absence Seizures Sept 2014. He had an EEG and the Neurologist at Childrens Hospital Oakland told me that he has several HUNDRED of these a day. I used to think he was doing it on purpose and being disrespectful to me. He isnt. It lasts 3-5 seconds. He doesn't know he is having them, he doesn't hear anything, but i feel like it may take longer for him to recover from these than they even think. He may possibly outgrow them as he gets older.
 

Hobbes

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Typical absence has a pattern that is relatively easy to see on EEGs. Atypical absence can be harder, best seen on a longer video EEG - and because it can be associated with types of E that have sleep activation, overnight EEG might be best. Why not have an EEG and see what's going on?

My child has atypical absence and (negative) myoclonics that are currently controlled that they saw on a five day eeg. They became apparent as her medication was taken off (blood levels went down but not long enough time to completely leave her system). Atypical absence seizures have more fuzzy start/stop to them, there can still be some awareness.
 

Starburst

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It's been a little more than a year since I wrote my initial post, and my son is now almost 5 years old. We changed medications over the course of this year, and the eye-rolling has now become very infrequent...maybe 1 or 2 incidents per month. One eye has also occasionally started drifting to the side, which the doctor said is not related to epilepsy and might correct itself with time. We have done numerous EEGs (but no video EEGs), and I don't think the results specifically showed absence seizures. I do, however, think the eye rolling is probably related to seizure activity. Reading my initial post over again, I may have made it sound like he is always laughing and joking during these incidents, but that is not always the case...and his eyes roll back so far that only the whites are visible. This is something I have tried to do myself and cannot.
 
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