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..
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.
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.