eyes rolling around naptime/bedtime? seizures or other?

Libby - posted on 12/02/2009 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I'll be honest, some times I'm very confused about whether or not what's going on with my two-year old son is seizures or something else. Over the past few months he's had more incidents of his eyes rolling around either right before nap time or after waking up crying from a nap.

For example, today. Normally he sleeps for at least 1 1/2 hours for a nap. Today, after about 1/2 hour, I heard him crying in his bed. He usually wakes up very happy, so I rushed upstairs to see what was wrong. He went back and forth between crying and his eyes rolling back in his head and around. It was very confusing to watch. After a couple of minutes, I ran downstairs to get my camera. When I brought it upstairs, I repositioned him and he seemed to get a little better. Once more his eyes went back in his head (and seemed to take his whole head with them, turning it to the side quickly), but then he seemed much more with it. He stared at the camera for a moment or two, but then started talking about it--"light....camera....", etc. (there's a light on the camera). Within another minute or two, he was standing and happy.

What do you guys think? Seizures? Or possibly in REM, still sleeping, with his eyelids open? I tried doing a Google search of "open eyelids during REM" and came up with zilch. So i'm not sure if that means it's not really likely, or if that means I just did a bad search.

I'd love to hear what you all think. I hate bothering the doctor--and it only lasts a couple of minutes ever, so it seems so insignificant. And yet it gets me somewhat upset the rest of the day....

Thanks for the help! :)

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Harley - posted on 12/02/2009

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Absence seizures may be typical (petit mal) or atypical. Typical absence seizures usually begin in childhood, usually between the ages of 5 and 15 and do not continue into adulthood. However, adults occasionally have typical absence seizures. Unlike tonic-clonic seizures, absence seizures do not cause convulsions or other dramatic symptoms. People do not fall down, collapse, or move jerkily. Instead, they have episodes of staring with fluttering eyelids and sometimes twitching facial muscles. They are completely unaware of their surroundings. These episodes last 10 to 30 seconds. People abruptly stop what they are doing and resume it just as abruptly. They experience no after-effects and do not know that a seizure has occurred. Without treatment, many people have several seizures a day. Seizures often occur when people are sitting quietly. Seizures rarely occur during exercise. Hyperventilation can trigger a seizure. HOPE THIS HELPS!

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Stacey - posted on 12/12/2009

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Have you been to a nuerologist before? Has your son had big seizures--like a grand mal? What you are describing definitely sounds like seizures. I hope your son is under a doctor's care. See an Epileptologist if posible.

Jennifer - posted on 12/03/2009

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My 10 year old son has Absence Seizures, sounds exactly like what you are describing. We didn't realize that's what he was having until he had a grandmal seizure in March of this year. He was having the staring spells and eye flutters since he was 4, we thought it was a twitch. Please go to your neurologist to have it checked out.

Heather - posted on 12/03/2009

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Yup, Jacob has Absence seizures, where his eyes will flicker or roll around- i get the same thought- what am I seeing? Is this something or not? They usually come in clusters where he goes in and out of them over a 1-2 min period. The wake/sleep period is one of the most common times for seizures, something to do w/ the brain wave cycle. The easiest way to tell is to see if he will respond to his name, or trying to wave your hand or his favorite toy in front of him to see if he responds.

Harley - posted on 12/02/2009

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Absence seizures

In absence seizures the person loses awareness for a brief period. The person stares vacantly, the eyes may drift upwards and flicker. It may be mistaken for daydreaming. How to help:

Reassure the person and repeat any information that they may have missed.


im sorry partial complex is not the correct one its an absence seizure i personally believe he is having...in the above is a breif description of an absence seizure

Harley - posted on 12/02/2009

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DEFINATELY SEIZURES!!!! take him to a neurologist asap. they are condisered staring seizures they do it for a while come out of it and act like nothing EVER happend. its not REM sleep at all. If he were in REM sleep he wouldnt wake up crying first. try googling either staring seizures or partial-complex seizures is another name. or go to askjeeves.com and simply ask what does a staring seizure look like. hope you get results soon but again take him to a neurologist asap. please keep me informed if you can remember to. Hope this helps again keep me posted!

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