In an absence seizure, epileptic activity occurs throughout the entire brain. It is a milder type of activity which causes unconsciousness without causing convulsions. After the seizure, there is no memory of it.
An absence seizure begins abruptly and without warning, consists of a period of unconsciousness with a blank stare, and ends abruptly. There is no confusion after the seizure, and the person can usually resume full activity immediately. An absence seizure may be accompanied by chewing movements, rapid breathing, or rhythmic blinking.
Absence seizures are short, usually lasting only 2-10 seconds. They are very mild, and may go unnoticed by parents and teachers. Because absence seizures may recur frequently during the day, a child who experiences them may have difficulty learning if they are not recognized and treated.