Absence seizures

Also known as: Staring spells
An absence seizure is a brief—5 to 15 seconds—but total loss of awareness that occurs suddenly without any warning and ends as suddenly as it begins. Absence seizures are most common in childhood and occur in people with generalized epilepsy of unknown cause.

The face muscles may twitch during the seizure. Although the person may appear to be awake, he or she cannot respond to anything or anyone. When the seizure stops, the person may resume normal activity without knowing that anything happened.