Do Flashing Holiday Light Displays Bother You?
It's estimated that only 3-5% of people or persons with epilepsy may have a seizure or other health complications due to flashing lights, strobe lights, pyrotechnics etc., it all depends on the sensitivity level of that person and the intensity of the flashing. Other health complications could trigger a migraine. Each person is affected differently.
How to navigate the holiday season
So, how do you navigate the holiday season with what seems to be more and more holiday displays in malls, stores, street decorations, sporting events, concerts, even some TV shows, movie theaters, social media platforms, including YouTube and TikTok? Many don't give pre-warnings or photosensitive warnings, for my own daughter and others. I've heard it's quiet annoying.
We stopped going to see holiday lights
We have found when going out to look at holiday lighting displays, some don't have flash lights at all, while others, as I said earlier, could trigger a seizure a migraine, or any number of side effects. We stopped going to view lighting displays, this also can include something as simple as Christmas tree lights flashing in someone's home. For my daughter it can be depressing not being able to enjoy holiday festivities, as we are always aware of possible seizure trigger.
Advocacy efforts for people with photosensitive epilepsy
A few years ago, I learned of a Christmas Lights campaign called #LightsToStill, a cause created by a grandmother in Australia who was Advocating for her grandson and others, who like my own daughter, had trouble enjoying the holidays due to all the flashing. Her idea was to flick your holiday light displays to Still Mode on Dec.23rd (annually), so that people who may be extra sensitive to flashing lights displays, might be able to enjoy one day without worry , and get involved. To learn more about her advocacy efforts click here.
A hope for a safe and enjoyable holiday season
My hope is you or your loved one will be able to navigate the holidays safely, despite all of the flashing displays. You never know when a seizure will happen , so always have a safety plan in place. Let me also say not everyone who experiences seizures are
Signed Lorrie F
Caregiver, writer and blogger
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