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Old 07-08-2011, 10:11 PM
 
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I have never mentioned this to anyone because it was so strange and difficult to explain. The symptom is a momentary... I have always refereed to it as a "whiteout", the exact opposite of a blackout (not red out). This means I feel as if all my senses are being overloaded and my thoughts almost stop due to the amplitude of sensory input. Do not mistake my speaking of "sensory" or "senses" as meaning that I feel, hear, see, taste something intense, instead it is more of a "brain thing".

I did not include "smell" at the end of the previous paragraph. preceding these "attacks" is normally a very slight smell, not offensive. perhaps a new carpet smell. It's possible that the smell is simply a learned response from frequent correlation with a given lighting implementation combined with the usual carpet selection or other feature in the area. I can tell immediately when entering a small room to middle sized building if the "attack" may occur. Often there is fluorescent lighting and I believe always carpet is also present. Very large buildings (home depot) never cause this.

I can somewhat control the attack, holding it back, or indulging in it. Looking downward and not smelling deeply will, although the sense of its possibility remains, keep the attack at bay. Moving my gaze upward and smelling deeply will trigger the attack. The attack lasts for a few seconds, though I again restate that I can control the attack. It will last longer if i remain gazing in the upward direction and continuing to smell. Normally i shake my head, close my eyes and look down. This takes only a second or two and is mild, others in the vicinity may not even notice. I don't know if its fear or a biological imperative, but I have not forced the attack ad infinitum. I almost can't.

I have never encouraged the attack to last more than a few seconds as an extreme reaction generally results in intense cognitive... block, and dizziness to the point of requiring a prop to lean against. Even then recovery is generally immediate (1, 2, 3 seconds).

Have no idea what this actually is. I found it very difficult to search for on the internet (july 2011 at this writing). Hopefully someone else will find my detailed experience helpful in identifying someone (anyone!) who also has this.

For the sake of completeness I do have mitral valve prolapse, general anxiety disorder, and often experience extended periods of heart palpitations and tachycardia (unusually fast heart rate for no reason) . All diagnosed in my twenties. However I have experienced this from as far back as I can remember. Currently i'm 33. Non of my personal disorders have ever manifested themselves along with these attacks in any way.

Goodluck to all =)
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:16 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Off-the-wall guess:

something going on with your peripheral vision that causes a synapse misfire when you start "outside" with open space to either side of your vision range, then suddenly you are "inside" with aisle (literally, tunnels) that very clearly re-define your range of vision.

It would be the visual version of vertigo, which is often (but not always, and maybe not even usually) related to hearing problems.

I'd get my vision tested, and in particular, test for any balance issues involving peripheral vision.

also get your hearing tested for the same reason: people have some measure of sonographic hearing, some are more sensitive than others. Sound bouncing off walls after moments before not bouncing off anything, might be causing that sensation you're experiencing.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:20 PM
 
14,648 posts, read 29,685,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Quince View Post

For the sake of completeness I do have mitral valve prolapse, general anxiety disorder, and often experience extended periods of heart palpitations and tachycardia (unusually fast heart rate for no reason) . All diagnosed in my twenties. However I have experienced this from as far back as I can remember. Currently i'm 33. Non of my personal disorders have ever manifested themselves along with these attacks in any way.

Goodluck to all =)
This is me. Have occasional heart issues, and a long history of panic/anxiety attacks, although all much better and milder now that I am older. I do not like strong odors or fluorescent lights. For me some stores are worse than others, and some days I won't be bothered at all. Overall I do not like being in large, fluorescently lit buildings for long, especially if I smell bleach like in a grocery store or other chemical smells like in Home Depot. Like I said, this used to be VERY bad for me about 20 years ago, but my overall health is better today and the episodes are fewer milder. I still hate going into large stores, especially if crowded. I start to feel claustrophic and crowded and have to leave.

Glad to know I'm not alone.
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Old 07-09-2011, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
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It has been shown that some flickering lights can trigger seizures and migraines. Those store lights can flicker faster than we can consciously detect but it still can affect us.

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Old 07-10-2011, 08:01 AM
 
9,018 posts, read 7,946,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
I have had this going back 6 or 7 years. I notice a slight dizziness or lack of balance when I walk into a store, like a grocery store. I will really notice it when I start walking down aisles in a store or walking in a mall. There is almost a fogginess, for lack of a better term, along with it. It usually passes or at least decreases when I am outside but it has been increasing in frequency over the years. I have tried researching this but have found nothing on it.
Anyone ever heard of this bizarre symptom?
I'm so glad I found this post; I actually get these symptoms & thought I was the only one. Good to know that its not just me
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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Also glad to have discovered this post. I've always had this problem and suspected it had to do with atmospheric changes: light, pressure, temp differences. I react to barometer changes also: my head feels "heavy" or like someone is pushing on it. I think that like animals, some of us are just more sensitive to our environment. Another thought: how many of you that experience this sensation have had head injuries?
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:22 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 19,765,259 times
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the lights do it to me...

i am agoraphobic, highly so, and this is not a symptom of the agoraphobia...

however i do have light indiced seizures (a form of epilepsy) and the drs have tus far been in 100% agreence that the lighting in stores (flourescant) is terrible for people with even mild light sensitivites...
i was told, dizzyness, nausea, migranes, "hazyness" are all normal responses to flourscent lighting.
and given my condition, it effects me even more so...

people with blue eyes aparently have bigger issues with flourescant lighting too!
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 17,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
i have had this going back 6 or 7 years. I notice a slight dizziness or lack of balance when i walk into a store, like a grocery store. I will really notice it when i start walking down aisles in a store or walking in a mall. There is almost a fogginess, for lack of a better term, along with it. It usually passes or at least decreases when i am outside but it has been increasing in frequency over the years. I have tried researching this but have found nothing on it.
Anyone ever heard of this bizarre symptom?

i have this same thing . It's the fluorescent liteing.got so sick and weak from being in this store.i tought for all these years i was having panic attacks. I was told to wear dark glasses.going try this.i hear a lot of people have this .now i will have to replace my lite bulbs with the old one's . Hope this helps. Heard fluorescent liteing causes insomnia. As it does me.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Northern Minnesota
28,760 posts, read 2,359,706 times
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In addition to lighting and odors I am very sensitive and aware of electromagnetic/electrical fields. Just think about all of the electric coursing through our homes alone and now imagine how much is present in stores, malls, office buildings, airports...everywhere. yikes! Many times when my husband goes into the home improvement store I just wait in the car - if my opinion on a purchase isn't required.
I have been effected by all this since the'70's and in my teens. My friends used to make fun of me when I tried to explain.
I blame it on modern life. I may like the convenience of my laptop, for example, but I can also live without it. I have recently given up TV and that is wonderful. Speaking of my laptop, we have been ordering more and more online, even food. I just don't miss going into stores. That "brown" truck pulls in my driveway and I love the convenience of that.

Last edited by geebabe; 11-09-2011 at 03:35 PM.. Reason: forgot something
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Colorado
18,717 posts, read 4,702,479 times
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Many times I feel sleepy, I think it's the lighting, since it happens only in places
with fluorscent lighting. It goes away quickly but I find it odd anyway.
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