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Video Game Induced Seizures: A Cause for Alarm?

by: Aaron R. ; edited by: Benjamin Sell ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

The possibility of your favorite video game causing serious health problems is definitely frightening, built the risk of developing video game induced seizures is not a cause for concern in most cases.

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    About Video Game Seizures

    If you're an avid gamer or the parent of a child who plays video games, you may find yourself wondering about the risk associated with video game induced seizures.

    Epileptic seizures are dangerous because they can cause convulsions that may lead to injuries from falling down or striking nearby objects. In some cases, a loss of consciousness may also occur.

    While there is no evidence that playing video games can cause epilepsy, people who suffer from this seizure disorder must be very careful when playing video games. Extreme photosensitivity can trigger seizures in an epileptic who is playing video games. In rare cases, it is also possible for a person with no history of epilepsy to have a seizure caused by a photosensitive reaction to a particular video game. However, it should be noted that photosensitive seizures are much more common in children and teenagers than adults. Some studies have also indicated that this type of seizure is more likely to appear in females than males.

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    Warning Signs

    Warning signs to watch for when playing video games include:

    • Loss of attention
    • Noticing that things smell, look, feel, or sound different than normal
    • Jerking or twitching movements on parts of the body
    • Seeming momentarily "frozen in space"
    • Unable to talk or respond to conversation

    While these signs do not necessarily indicate that a person will have a seizure while playing video games, they should be discussed with a healthcare provider experienced in the treatment of epilepsy.

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    Helping to Prevent Video Game Induced Seizures

    To reduce the risk of video game induced seizures, it's a good idea to make sure you're always playing games in a well-lit room. Take frequent breaks when playing games and remember to sit as far away from the screen as possible.

    For epileptics who have seizures caused by photosensitivity, prescription medication or blue polarized sunglasses can be useful treatment options to consider.

    Since photosensitive seizures are caused by colorful flashing lights and patterns, someone who suffers from this problem will not necessarily react badly to all video game titles. Light intensity, flicker, contrast, and duration are some of the variables that influence a person's reaction to a video game. However, once you've had a photosensitive seizure, you'll want to make sure to discuss your future video gaming activities with your healthcare provider.

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    More Information Here on Bright Hub

    Curious about seizures and migraines that can affect your children, especially headaches caused by sitting in front of the tv too long playing video games? Here are a couple of articles that can help bring you some more information:

    Medication for Migraines in Children

    Zonisamide - Treatment for Seizures