Can Video Games Cause Seizures?

Published: 12th June 2009
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Can Video Games Produce Seizures?

While there is no scientific evidence that playing video games can be the bring about of new epilepsy episodes; people who suffer from this manner of disorder, should be very careful when playing video games. Extreme photosensitivity can begin to trigger seizures in an epileptic who is playing video games. Furthermore, some children may suffer with photosensitive seizures in response to various types of high movement video games, but may not have this response to another form of visual stimulization or video game for that matter. Sadly, in some people there has been a loss of consciousness.

Some people (about 1 in 4000) may have seizures or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns, such as while watching TV or playing video games, even if they have never had a seizure in the past. Anyone who has had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptoms associated to an epileptic condition should consult your physician before playing a video game.

Important information to help reduce the likelihood of a seizure when playing video games: Always play in a well-lit room; Never sit or stand too close to the screen and take at least a 10 to 15 minute break every hour.

Self Care Tip: Help prevent seizures by following a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and keeping your stress levels to a minimum.

Essential information that will help lessen the chances of a seizure when playing video games: do not play if you feel tired or need sleep. Always play in a properly lit room and take at least a 10 to 15 minute break every hour.

Important Tip: Don't give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the seizure has finished. After the seizure has ended, give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if the person is not breathing. Don't call an ambulance during a typical seizure. For most of us, the first response to seeing a seizure is to call 911. Fortunately for typical types of seizures, that isn't necessary.

It has been determined that approximately one in every couple of hundred people throughout the world have distinctive degrees of epilepsy, however only a small amount about less than 5% of those diagnosed with epilepsy are photosensitive. Photosensitive epilepsy is far more common in children than in adults. That combined with the fact that children and adolescents represent the majority of video game players, this group is at the highest risk for experiencing photosensitive seizures. The typical age at which photosensitive epilepsy emerges is between 9 and 15 years. The evidence shows that for some people this can happen when playing video games, so remember to consult the nearest hospital if you have ever had an prior episode of epilepsy before playing video games!

Linda likes writing on various subjects and hopes that readers will be entertained by her unique point of view.

For more thoughts on online games, be sure to take a peek at a good online games blog.

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