Typically, this type of seizure lasts between 10 and 30 seconds. The person, most often a child aged 5 to 15, abruptly stops whatever he's doing (talking, walking) and appears to "stare into space." Absence seizures rarely cause a true convulsion in which the person falls down or collapses.
Epilepsy can begin at any age. Studies have not identified a prime diagnosis time, but the incidence rate is highest in children and older adults. Luckily, some children with seizures will eventually grow out of them. Despite briefly losing consciousness, the person recovers fully with no lingering confusion or other ill effects.