Have you ever seen those warnings on TV for photosensitive people to be beware of upcoming flashing lights? What are they for?

Photosensitive epilepsy(PSE) is when flashing lights or contrasting patterns of dark and light cause seizures. It is not a common form of epilepsy and can be diagnosed with an EEG (Electroencephalogram).

This form of epilepsy can be treated with anti-epileptic drugs that are prescribed by a medical professional. Although there is no known cure for PSE, patients can avoid situations that may trigger seizures. In situations where it is impossible to avoid the triggers, patients can cover one eye completely to reduce the risk of seizures.

Some people can feel disorientated, uncomfortable or unwell when they see flashing lights or light and dark patterns, however, this does not mean that they have photosensitive epilepsy. PSE is when a seizure is immediately triggered by the flashing lights or patterns.

Citation: “Photosensitive Epilepsy” epilepsy society, September 2019, epilepsysociety.org.uk/photosensitive-epilepsy