According to CBS News, Brandon Gephart of Roseville, California was watching the film when he began having convulsions. Gephart only remembers waking up on the cinema floor, before being rushed to hospital, while girlfriend Kelly Bauman was left terrified at the incident.
Bauman said that he was convulsing, snorting, trying to breathe. “He scared me big time,” the Daily Mail quoted her as saying. Similar incidents have now been reported around the country.
Another man in south Jordan, Utah blacked out during the film. His wife said that he was shaking, mumbling and blinking rapidly, ABC4 revealed. The symptoms typically emerge during the birth scene, which contains flashes of red, black and white. Epilepsy specialist Dr. Michael G. Chez said that the scene may be triggering episodes of photosensitive epilepsy on those who are predisposed to it.
Flashing red lights on people who are genetically predisposed can bring in seizures.”It’s like a light switch going off, because it hits your brain all at once,” Dr. Chez told CBC News. “The trouble with theaters, it’s dark, the lights flashing in there is more like a strobe light.” Dr. Chez said that a one-off seizure does no real long-term damage in the majority of cases.
To reduce the risk, blue lenses can be worn to filter out the red light.