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. Despite briefly losing consciousness, the person recovers fully with no lingering confusion or other ill effects. These "spells" may occur infrequently or several times per hour. The vast majority of children, however, will outgrow them.
It is estimated that there are more than 10 million persons with epilepsy. Its prevalence is about 1% in our population. The prevalence is higher in the rural (1.9%) compared to urban population (0.6%). A prevalence rate of 8.8/1000 population was observed, with the rate in rural communities (11.9) being twice that of urban areas (5.7).