Music pageant lighting ‘can set off epileptic suits’ – BBC Information


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Strobe lighting at music festivals can improve the danger of epileptic seizures, researchers have warned.

The Dutch crew stated even individuals who haven’t been recognized with epilepsy could be affected.

Their examine was prompted by the case of a 20-year-old, with no historical past of epilepsy, who immediately collapsed and had a match at a pageant.

The Epilepsy Society stated festivals ought to restrict lighting to the really useful ranges.

Epilepsy is a situation that impacts the mind. There are a lot of sorts, and it may well begin at any age.

Round three% of individuals with epilepsy are photosensitive, which implies their seizures are triggered by flashing or flickering lights, or patterns.

The Well being and Security Government recommends strobe lighting ought to be saved to a most of 4 hertz (4 flashes per second) in golf equipment and at public occasions.


The researchers studied digital dance music festivals as a result of they usually use strobe lighting.

They checked out information on individuals who wanted medical care among the many 400,000 guests to 28 day and night-time dance music festivals throughout the Netherlands in 2015. The figures included 241,000 individuals who had been uncovered to strobe lights at night-time festivals.

Thirty folks at night-time occasions with strobe lighting had a seizure, in contrast with 9 attending daytime occasions.

The crew, led by Newel Salet of the VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam, writing in BMJ Open, stated different elements might improve the danger of seizures.

However they added: “No matter whether or not stroboscopic lights are solely accountable or whether or not sleep deprivation and/or substance abuse additionally play a job, the suitable interpretation is that enormous [electronic dance music] festivals, particularly throughout the night-time, most likely trigger not less than numerous folks per occasion to endure epileptic seizures.”

They advise anybody with photosensitive epilepsy to both keep away from such occasions or to take precautionary measures, akin to getting sufficient sleep and never taking medication, not standing near the stage, and leaving shortly in the event that they expertise any “aura” results.

Mr Salet informed BBC Information: “If an individual has no predisposition for epilepsy, then elements like strobe lighting won’t have any impact. Nonetheless, most individuals are unaware of this predisposition they could have: greater than a few circumstances explicitly reported this to be the primary time they skilled an epileptic match.”

Clare Pelham, chief government on the Epilepsy Society, stated: “The pageant season has change into one thing of a ceremony of passage. We’d encourage pageant organisers to not less than warn guests that they’re utilizing strobe lighting in order that festival-goers can determine whether or not will probably be protected for them to attend earlier than shopping for their tickets.

“However it might be actually life-affirming, in today after we aspire to inclusivity, if organisers might do the accountable factor and preserve the strobe lighting at a price that ought to not pose a danger.

“The pageant season is all about having a great time, however that ought to embody everybody collectively, in a protected and supportive surroundings.”

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