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KAS1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 4/9/2007 2:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys,
 
have just spent the last hour or so catching up on all the weekend's posts!  I've been away for a few days over Easter.
 
I had a four hour drive, most of which was in the daylight which was fine.  I am lucky enough not to have any issues with general driving.....but.....when it got dark and people had their headlights on it got pretty scary.   I found that the lights coming towards me made me feel very dizzy, disoriented, and incredibly scared about my driving.   Luckily I had someone with me who could take over the wheel.
 
In hindsight I think this has been happening to some extent for a while now.
 
Just wondering if you guys have experienced this, and what you've done about it.....obviously, for the moment I'll be avoiding night driving all together! 
 
Hope you all had a good weekend.
Welcome to the newcomers, it's a great site!!!!
 
Kas

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 4/9/2007 4:39 AM (GMT -6)   

I try to avoid driving at night, but where I live it's primarily because it's country, and deer and other animals move around at night. There have been too many accidents between cars and deer for me to be comfortable.  I also find that as I get older (I'm 60), night driving is a challenge because of age-related vision problems. The headlights are a challenge -- they appear to get "halos" around them, and some of the newer lights (halogen, maybe?) bother my eyes.

I've not gotten dizzy or disoriented, though, when I've had to do it..


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


Sunnycitrus
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 4/10/2007 8:30 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Kas,

 

Have you had problems with dizziness and disorientation is the past? I also experience pretty much the same thing you described, and have had some scary drives. However, I also frequently deal some degree of vertigo, and night driving is only one of many things that worsens it. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a way to fully deal with this besides not driving at night…please do let me know if you come up with something:).

 

The only technique I use to cope in a pinch is to refocus my attention, but this still does not allow me to drive comfortably at night.  I don’t know whether this will make sense because it is hard for me to explain, but try to focus on not paying attention to the lights headed towards you, and instead continuously direct your attention to the road ahead, and the taillights of the car in front of you.

 

I don’t mean to suggest that you make yourself have tunnel vision, because that would be pretty unsafe. However, when I’ve found myself in this situation, I frequently consciously remind myself to make sure that my eyes stay on the road ahead of me, and that sometimes helps, at least a little.

 

I think this helps me personally because when I get overwhelmed by all those moving lights flashing past me, my vision and attention tends to stray as I try to “take it all in,”  which brings on the dizziness, and then I start to panic, which just makes everything worse. Constantly reminding myself to focus my attention on what is ahead of me helps me feel less overwhelmed, and at the same time gives me less opportunity to think about how scary the sensation is.  I also use this technique to deal with the vertigo I encounter in other situations. I don’t know if any of this helps your situation, or even makes any sense (I feel like this came out totally garbled). Anyway, I really hope that this issue will just resolve on its own for you.

 

Sunny


BGD2Me
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 366
   Posted 4/10/2007 11:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Sunny,

I think your post sounded fine. I use the techniques that you talk about. I am like Uppity in that the lights seem to have halos around them. I get disoriented and dizzy sometimes. During the day and sometimes at night, I have to have the visor down. It is like I am seeing too much and it gets confusing to me. I need the break in my vision to be able to drive.

I have terrible eye sight though. I have also been classified as having "eye oddities". Don't ask me what that means because no one else knows either. The ophthalmologists always say that my eyes are different. Sometimes the optic nerve of my right eye is swelled to 5 times the normal size and then other times it is normal. My pressure's are sometimes high or even "off the charts" and other times I have normal pressures. They tell me I don't have Optic Neuritis but what exactly I do have they don't know.

Lysha
Undiagnosed

Things ruled out- TIA's, Lyme, Lupus, Crones, Narcolepsy, CFS, Fibro, Parkinson's, arthritis, and brain tumors.
Still nobody has answers.

Started my journey 1/06


When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.


KAS1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 4/10/2007 1:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys,

thanks heaps for your responses.

Sunny.....your post was great, I know exactly what you're saying.

Lysha.....your eye issues sound really freaky. I hope that you get some answers!!!

Uppity.....yes I find halogen lights a problem too!

Kas

dgrimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/11/2007 6:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I know exactly what you mean (sunny) about how you feel when you drive. I have been told I don't have MS but I do have many odd eye problems which I'm told is mild Thyroid Eye Disease. I have color vision loss in my right eye that shifts to the left eye if I lay on my right side...I know it sounds crazy and the doctors can't figure that one out and none of the 11 eye doctors I went to looking for answers have ever heard of that. I also have many other eye symptoms that make me get dizzy and feel very overwhelmed by the motion of cars....especially when driving on the expressway. I used to drive everywhere and now I get nervous about driving too far from home. I am only 32 and have three small children so this can be a very scary thing. I have trouble regaining my focus on the e-way and feel like I need to pull over to get my vision back in order. I sometimes feel like maybe I'm too aware of whats going on around me and I need to learn how to turn that off. I don't know if its happening from anxiety or due to the fact that that I have some swelling behind my eyes causing mild lid retraction and double vision at near...and rays off of lights, and a noticible blind spot, and trouble making eye contact...etc...etc.

This driving symptom started the day after I had a visual evoked potential....maybe that test got me oversensitized to movement???

Any suggestions for me would be wonderful!

Thanks,
Diana

KAS1
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 4/11/2007 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dianna,

really interesting post, thank you!

It's interesting because I had a visual evoked potential test done two days before this driving symptom that I have.....

Probably just coincidental...but who knows aye????

KAS

dgrimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/11/2007 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe the evoked potential test triggers something in the brain that makes us react differently to movement and lights. I remember being very nervous about the test making me have a seizure or something even though I have never had one. I worry about alot of things that will probably never happen...but could :-)

I made it through the right eye fine and then towards the end of the left eye I got this strange feeling like I couldn't look at it anymore...almost like my head started to vibrate. It was really weird and I mentioned it to the girl doing the test and the neurologist and of course neither of them though anything of it.

Whenever I get the overwhelmed feeling when driving or even when making eye contact talking to someone I feel like I have to look away because I can't focus right.

That is bizarre that your eye thing started shortly after you evoked potential. I know I won't be having one of those again!

I really think it did something strange to me because I took my son to a wrestling meet a couple days later and I couldn't even watch the kids wrestling because of the movement on the mats. Does yours only happen when driving? Did you feel nervous about having the test or get a strange feeling during it at all???

Thanks for your response...
Diana

dgrimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/13/2007 7:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I forgot to mention that my eyes would get the overwhelmed feeling when I would watch wheel of fortune or a show that I looked around the screen alot after having the evoked potential. That probably sounds crazy to most!

That has gotten better but it still happens when making eye contact with someone for too long or driving on very busy/fast paced roads.

Sunnycitrus
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 334
   Posted 4/13/2007 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   

Diana,

 

While I can’t tie this in with my evoked potential test, I know what you mean about your eyes getting the overwhelmed feeling, and not just with driving. One of the worst triggers for me is wind. When everything is moving around, not only in front of me but also in my peripheral vision and behind me, it makes me quite dizzy. In terms of driving with this sensation…gosh, I wish I had some good suggestions to give you…the only thing that I do I described in my previous post. I honestly don’t drive much these days. I really do think that being aware of, and trying to control rising stress levels that this sensation causes also helps.  

 

I do have a couple of techniques I use when I encounter this sensation in a non-driving situation, but they while they help some, they do not fix the problem. One, is a more extreme version of the narrowing my focus thing that I mentioned before. In situations like a windy day, crowds, lots of flashing lights, fireworks (this was bad, not recommended at all) or just an extra “dizzy” day, I will focus as much as I can just on my task or one particular object. If I am walking, I will often look down (if you try this, just make sure you don’t walk into a sign or a pole or anything…I’ve done this J)

 

The second technique I use for several variations on my “dizzy theme”…okay I hope this doesn’t sound too crazy…. Several months ago I went through a period of time where if I was standing up or walking, I would not only feel like everything was starting to move and spin, I would also lose my balance. I was not sure where my body was in space, and I often had the sensation that not only was I moving strangely, but that parts of the world around me that I knew were solid (i.e. walls) were moving too.

 

I started touching things that I knew were not moving, such as walls, doorframes and chairs, and somehow touching the objects and actually feeling that they weren’t moving around really helped my stay on my feet and reduced a lot of the dizziness. I would actually walk around trailing my fingers on walls, or moving from solid object to solid object. I’m sure I looked really weird (especially at work…oh my gosh), but at that point I could have cared less because it gave me some relief.  I now find that touching something solid helps with the overwhelming feeling sometimes as well. The other thing I do is take Antivert, which is a motion sickness med. I only take it when things become really uncomfortable, because I don’t want it to lose its effectiveness.

 

I hope that some of this extremely long post (sorry) helps some, and if not, at least know that you are not alone in this.

 

Sunny


dgrimes
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 4/13/2007 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes I wonder if it is the anxiety of it happening makes it happen...hope that makes sense.

When I am driving I sometimes wonder if I am concentrating too much on the fear of it happening that I bring it on???

I need to learn how to deal with anxiety and maybe that will help some. I just feel like I'm thinking about it too much. Like with making eye contact with a person as I talk to them. I am too fixated on the eye thing happening and not just letting the conversation happen with no worries. It is something that has happened for a year now (along with the driving problem) since the EP test and I'm hoping in time i can get over it. I think alot of it is the way I deal with it...

Thanks for the long post, it helps me more than you know :-)
Diana
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