Strobe lights are frequently found at house parties, clubs, skating rinks, and other entertainment venues. They are used to create a feeling of slight disorientation that is intended to enhance a dance floor or other facility to make it more fun and exciting. For some people, disorientation is extremely uncomfortable and can induce a feeling of vertigo or nausea. For others, particularly individuals with epilepsy, strobe lights can actually induce a seizure and put the epileptic individual in danger.
Epilepsy, a neurological disorder, can cause uncontrolled seizures. These seizures can be triggered by visual stimuli for some people. Photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy. Photosensitive epilepsy can have a negative reaction to flashing lights or kaleidoscopic effects. They may also react negatively to moving patterns or static patterns that repeat like checkered or striped patterns. Photosensitive epileptics can experience seizures from flashing lights, strobe lights and fast action sequences.
Every person's photosensitivity level is different. Individuals may be sensitive to static patterns only, while others may be sensitive to flashing lights. Lower flashing frequencies are more likely to cause seizures and are safer for most people.
Strobe lights can make you uncomfortable. You might consider moving away from the light source or turning off the lights. Event organizers and venues planning to use strobe light should display signs warning visitors. These precautions will help reduce the chance of an emergency.