Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Lights and Dizziness

Some individuals have told me they become dizzy looking at christmas lights...especially in stores.  Why does this happen?  I think it depends on the individual.  Here are a few possible reasons.
  1. For people who have a predisoposition toward visual dependence and/or motion sickness, they tend to rely more on their eyes for balance.  For these individuals, they may be light sensitive.  Seeing several different lights at different depths can confuse the brain because their is not a consistent pattern.  This can cause a sense of dizziness.
  2. For people with vestibular problems, looking at lights at varying levels (depths, heights) can cause the brain not to be able to focus the eyes as well.  When this occurs, if an individual has a vestibular dysfunction, nystagmus can occur.  When nystagmus occurs we usually become dizzy. (spinning, off balance and/or a sense that things are moving, etc).

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