DALLAS—There's no denying Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is a success. It's currently the No. 1 movie in America, and has grossed $489 million worldwide since debuting on Nov. 18. While controversy had surrounded the graphic nature of the birth scene in Breaking Dawn, the violent and intense sequence is also raising concern. It has reportedly caused several who viewed the movie, to experience seizures.
The bright flashing of red, black and white lights and colors during the climactic birth sequence are thought to have caused the in-theater seizures. Doctors call the phenomenon photo-sensitive epilepsy.
Brandon Gephart is one man who experienced these seizures. He was attending the film last Friday with his girlfriend, Kelly Bauman, when he started "convulsing, snorting, trying to breathe," according to Bauman.
A couple in Salt Lake City, Utah, had a similar experience during their screening of the film, when the husband passed out and then began to shake violently.
Dr. Michael G. Chez, medical director of pediatric neurology and epilepsy for Sutter Sacramento in California, explains, "It's like a light switch going off, because it hits your brain all at once. The trouble with theaters is that it's dark and the lights flashing in there is more like a strobe light."
However, some like Roxanne Rodriguez of Dallas say they had no problem with the film. Her son suffers from epilepsy and viewed the film Monday. Exiting the theater she said, "My son has seizures. He has seizure attacks. But no, honestly no. He was fine! We were watching, eating popcorn. Everything was fine. No problem." And viewer Ricardo Gonzales was surprised at the news, "I'm surprised to hear that. I mean I've seen the movie and nothing happened."
Doctors like Dr. Paul S. Worrell, who's seen countless epileptic patients in his decades of family practice say be aware of the signs, "People do actually have seizures on rare occasion when exposed to bright flashing lights. It actually triggers a reaction in the brain when it affects the Synchronicity, hoW nerves fire. For people Who have epilepsy or A propensity to have seizures, sometimes this can act as a trigger to cause them to have seizures. For those people who are prone to having seizures, they as a group are more likely to experience photo-sensitive epilepsy."
Dr. Worrell also treats people with sleep disorders and says the flashing light inhibit sleep patterns as well. He shares this advice, "If you're exposed to bright light and you feel unusual, or you feel dizzy or lightheaded, nauseated, simply cover your eyes. If you feel a tingling sensation around the lips or the fingertips, you may be hyperventilating. A good time to go ahead and re-breathe your are. Go ahead and make a cup with your hands and cover your nose and mouth to re-circulate your carbon dioxide."