For around 3% of people living with epilepsy, seizures can be induced by exposure to certain patterns of light. These types of light are usually rapidly flickering, bright lights, often changing in color. For these individuals, avoiding these kinds of stimuli can be difficult, particularly in today’s world, where there is a TV or monitor on every other wall and everyone is always on their phone and computer. Without withdrawing from the modern world entirely, there are some simple steps a person can take to avoid these flashing patterns of light.
1. Use flicker-free monitors and TVs:
This was more of an issue in the days where cathode-ray tube (CRT) technology was commonplace. Modern screens use LCD/LED technology, which does not produce the same flickering as CRT screens. However, avoiding old monitors where you can help it is a good tip.
2. Light up the room:
Using your devices in a well-lit room will reduce the contrast between the dark room and the screen.
3. Wear polarized sunglasses when watching a screen:
This will help reduce glare and lower the contrast.
4. Avoid concerts or clubs with strobe lights:
Many music performances and dance clubs use rapidly flickering strobe lights in dark environments. Try to avoid these if you can.
5. Lower the brightness:
Reducing the brightness setting on your computer monitor and TV can help to avoid sharp contrasts.
6. Sit further away:
You should listen to what your mother told you. Sitting at least two feet from the screen will help reduce the intensity of bright flashes.
7. Take breaks:
It may be inconvenient to stop playing/working/watching for a few minutes every hour or so, but a seizure is much less convenient.
Reuben Friedlander describes himself as “genius, attractive, and not particularly modest.” Reuben joined Different Brains in 2017. He enjoys video games, fantasy reading, hats, Dwarf Fortress, and writing silly humor. Reuben writes all kinds of articles for the website, while assisting with video editing and transcription.