When an adult experiences a silent seizure, also called an absence seizure, he briefly enters a trance-like state where he is unresponsive and unaware, according to WebMD. Typical absence seizures last less than 30 seconds after beginning abruptly, while atypical absence seizures last longer and often include falling down.
Other symptoms that often accompany silent seizures are eyelid flutters, finger rubbing, small hand movements or a sudden stop without falling, explains Mayo Clinic. Some patients experience dozens of these seizures each day.
Since many absence seizures resemble daydreaming, some patients experience them for a long period of time without a proper diagnosis, reports WebMD. To keep the patient safe and effectively treat these seizures, a doctor should be contacted if a sufferer is experiencing staring spells or tuning out others around him on a regular basis. It is helpful to make a list for the doctor of the symptoms and how often they occur.
Absence seizures are most common in children, but they can also occur in adults, according to Mayo Clinic. Although these types of seizures usually do not cause physical injury, they still need to be closely monitored and treated. Many patients are treated successfully with anti-seizure medications.