Skip to content

Epilepsy Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Photosensitive Epilepsy


What to Do During a Seizure

It's not possible to stop a seizure once it has started. If you see a person having a seizure, take these steps:

  • Roll the person onto his or her side to prevent choking.
  • Cushion the head.
  • Loosen any tight clothing around the neck.
  • Keep the airway open. Grip the jaw gently and tilt the head back, if necessary.
  • Remove any objects that he or she may hit during the seizure.
  • Don't restrict the person's movement unless he or she is in danger.
  • Don't put anything into the person's mouth, including medicine or liquid. Doing so could cause choking.
  • Stay with the person until the seizure has passed or emergency personnel have arrived.


When to Call 911

Call 911 if:

  • You know the person is pregnant or has diabetes.
  • The seizure occurs in water.
  • The seizure lasts longer than five minutes.
  • The person doesn't regain consciousness after the seizure stops, another seizure starts before they regain consciousness, or they stop breathing.
  • Injury occurs as a result of the seizure.

Try to keep track of how long the seizure lasts and what symptoms occur so you can tell a doctor or emergency personnel.

How Is Photosensitive Epilepsy Treated?

There is no cure for photosensitive epilepsy. However, anti-epileptic medicines may reduce the frequency of seizures.

People with photosensitive epilepsy can also reduce the likelihood of having a seizure by avoiding stimuli that could trigger a seizure. If you are inadvertently exposed to a trigger, cover one eye completely and turn your head away from the source of disturbance.

Tips for Living With Photosensitive Epilepsy

If you or a loved one has photosensitive epilepsy, it is important to do what you can to reduce your exposure to seizure triggers. Here are some tips that may help keep you seizure-free:

Follow a healthy lifestyle. Take simple steps such as:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Limit stress.
  • Avoid excess alcohol.
  • Don't play computer and video games when you are tired or for too long.

Avoid known sources of flashing lights. Places you might want to avoid include:

  • Nightclubs
  • Firework shows
  • Concerts

Be screen-smart. Some precautions to take include:

  • Watch TV and play video games in a well-lit room and at a safe distance from the screen (at least 8 feet from the TV and 2 feet from a computer monitor).
  • Use flicker-free monitors (LCD or flat screen).
  • Use a remote control instead of walking up to the TV to change the channel.
  • Reduce the brightness on screen monitors.
  • Adjust Internet settings to control moving images.
  • Limit time spent in front of the TV, computer, and on hand-held devices.

Protect your eyes. When outside, wear polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright light.

Be prepared. Know your triggers and take steps to avoid them as much as possible. Also, try to recall any unusual symptoms that may have preceded the seizure, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Muscle twitching
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

human head and brain waves
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Grand mal seizure
How is each one different?
marijuana plant
CBD, a plant chemical, may cut down seizures.
prescription bottle
Which medication is right for you?
Seizures Driving
Questions for Doctor Epilepsy
Pills spilling from bottle in front of clock
Graces Magic Diet
Pets Improve Your Health
Caring Child Epilepsy
Making Home Safe
Epilepsy Surgery Cure