General Question

longtresses's avatar

What do you call these visual processes/disturbances?

Asked by longtresses (1319 points ) July 24th, 2011

1) When you just wake up, possibly stare at the wall or the room, and things in your visual field don’t come together. Sort of waking up into a warped space, like M.C. Escher’s drawings. A few seconds later, your 3D, put-everything-together sense kicks in and you realize that you’re looking at the wall, and the strange, floating rectangular pit is not a pit but the door’s opening.

2) This could happen when you sneeze? You see transparent confetti falling. It’s sparkly transparent and with rainbow colors, wiggling down like worms. A few seconds later everything returns to normal.

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6 Answers

the100thmonkey's avatar

The first one is exteroception, particularly equiIibrioception, I think.

The second one… well, I know what you’re talking about, but I have no idea what it’s called.

rebbel's avatar

GQ @longtresses and GA @the100thmonkey.
I recognise them both.
Intrigued by the first, bothered (usually) by the second.
The second, as far as I am concerned, is caused by tiredness.
Most of the time it lasts for minutes, some times it bugs me for over an hour, and everything I look at or read gets that extra layer of spics and dots and smears and stars.

longtresses's avatar

@the100thmonkey Thank you. I followed your link then to the equilibrioception page on wiki. Equilibrioception is the sense of balance as produced by the ears, the eyes, and the body; “in humans, equilibrioception is mainly sensed by the detection of acceleration, which occurs in the vestibular (ear) system.”

When this warped vision thing happened (twice in my life) I don’t recall moving my head. I was just waking up, head on the pillow. One time it took me a while staring at the clothing rack before realizing what it was. How odd that this has to do with balance.

@rebbel Wow.. for an hour? If you frequently have this, around what age was the onset?

These weren’t hangover symptoms btw… I have a clean bill of health..

rebbel's avatar

@longtresses Mid thirties, i believe.
Fortunately these long ones only occurred twice so far, and I was exhausted at the time, both physically and mentally.

greenergrass's avatar

@longtresses SO glad to know I’m not alone! :-) GQ
Sometimes, the 1st one happens to me when I’m too close to something, and I think of it as depth perception whatever – but is it’s this equilibrioception thing then I’m glad to know there a name for this!

The second, I think might have something to do with the “blood rushing to your head”.. sometimes when i stand up too fast, I see these little swirly contorting pieces of confetti and when I move my eyes to them, they disappear. Does this still happen to you or do I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about?

longtresses's avatar

@greenergrass When the 1st one happened to me, the walls were very far. I wasn’t staring at something a few centimeters from my eyes or blurring my vision the way I adjust camera lens.

Yes I know what blood rushing to my head feels like. That one is more like microscopic TV color pixels shifting than falling confetti/worms. Anyway..

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