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Epilepsy

eye care and epilepsy

07/12/2010

Question:

My sister has epilepsy and with that comes light sensitivity...especially in stores.

I would like information about sunglasses. What degree of darkness and what color tint is most beneficial? Also should she were them while she shops? Will it help with the artificial lights or does she need to wear a hat?

Thank you for your time. I truly appreciate it.

Answer:

The data on sunglasses for people with photosensitive epilepsy is not strong. First, the glasses have been tested on the small subset of people who have seizures precipitated by flashing lights and not people with epilepsy who report other light induced symptoms like headaches, eye pain, or other irritations that aren't actual seizures.

In the limited studies that have been done, the red color frequencies seem to be the biggest culprit when a study was done testing different frequency components of the light. Red free lenses are considered the best to prevent photosensitive (flashing light induced) seizures. If the sunglasses work, the susceptible person should wear them anywhere the stimulus might be.

For more information:

Go to the Epilepsy health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Michael   Privitera, MD Michael Privitera, MD
Professor of Neurology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati