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Broken_Shell

Woozy And Disoriented In Stores

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Hello,

I wanted to ask everyone about this before and decided to make a post after reading the following in another members reply to a previous post...

"...crowded stores/restaurants make me feel dizzy/wierd, etc."

I have a lot of problems with feeling woozy (different than light-headed) and spatially disoriented (like I am tipping or my head or neck is "shifting" or the floor is moving under me). Very strange... I know, I'm just not quite sure how to describe this sensation. I rarely leave the house to go anywhere other than appointments, but when I do, walking around and looking at things in a store makes these symptoms worse. I also get these same symptoms at home if I do any activity that involves moving my head around, so I think it is the movement of looking at things in the aisles of a store that makes it worse. Even if (on rare occasion) I do not have the spatial disorientation when I am going into the store, it starts and becomes quite severe within a matter of minutes of looking around. The symptoms also seem to be associated with tightness and pressure in my neck, head, and face.

I am just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this or has any ideas. I know that this is purely a physical sensation, and it is not associated with any type of anxiety or worry about managing my dysautonomia in public.

Thank you in advance!

~ Broken_Shell :)

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YES! I can't say that mine relates with the moving of my head specifically, but I do notice that when I feel this way I can't move my head from side to side very well, and tend to move my whole body to avoid the awful feeling. But I do notice these symptoms worse in a store where you do a lot of looking from side to side. The only thing that helps this for me is to lay very still, and not move almost at all. My vision becomes very dim, and I have had blackout vision too. Luckilly that has only completly happened once, but I still get black around the outside, with a small whole down the center. And I feel like I am on a boat and can't get off. People look distant, and far away, and I get very bad depth perception. I don't know what spacial disorentation is, so can't say there. I'm glad you posted this. Thank you. I tried for years to believe that it was anxiety, because I wanted to believe it would just go away. But I knew it wasn't.

Suzy

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Yes, for me it comes on if I've been on my feet too long. It is more like sensory overload; too much noise, too many colors, too much to concentrate on. It's like my brain can't process all that sensory information and starts misfiring on the physical parts.

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Guest tearose

Me too. Like others...

I think it is the standing and slow walking around...yes, i get woozy and then start crossing my legs, and looking for a way to sit or squat down discreetly! Also having to take in all that stuff, make decisions, maintain good body temperature...it is the start of overload.

I am fine driving but terrible shopping. It must be the standing.

tearose

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Yes, dizzy, balance problems, and weakness. My body feels so taxed that I often fel on the verge of collapse. However, sometimes I actually get away will having a decent time in the store, but this is usually rare----but I'll take it when I can-- ;) .

Maxine :0)

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i know this might be off topic, but do you feel that way in movie theatres? i hardly ever go but when i feel good i do and i feel like i cant concentrate and i get all hot with cold chills. Then my vision dims and i feel horrible when i leave

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Yes, I have this too. Sometimes I can walk into the plaza (or mall), and stay there for a couple of hours and be fine, and sometimes I get there, walk into the first shop and start feeling bad. As someone mentioned it earlier, sensory overload is the best way to describe it. Too many people, too many things to look at. Sometimes I feel so dizzy that by the time I get back to the car I want to vomit (sorry). I know I walk straight, but I feel like I'm on the verge of walking like a drunk. I guess overall I feel really disorientated and tired.

Two things I have noticed though - its a lot worse if I'm tired, and doesnt seem so bad if I'm with someone else - husband, mum, sister etc.

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Hello all,

I get the same disoriantation, have done for years, my GP explained to me that he is sure it is to do with a poor blood supply to the vestibular area of my ears causing vertigo, he said I could try some meds to help reduce this sensasion, I take Cinnarizine, helps a little, also tried Nitro tabs as GP thought it might also help with my Raynard's type problems too. I could not tolarate the Nitro horrid head pain, I have been prascribed some other meds that are to help folk when they have a Meniere's attack, that helped when vertigo very bad.

My kids also have bouts of this kind of vertio, one of my boys is on cinnarizine as a proventative at the moment as his bouts of vertigo are getting very bad. Most of the stuff you read about vertigo is to do with inner ear infections but my GP is sure ours is to do with inpaired blood supply.

Anna

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Yes, count me in.

Actually this was my first symptom and I thought that it was a very bad panic attack, but it never went away. Since then I always felt very weird in stores and I haven't been there alone for more than a year. I don't go anywhere alone, because anxiety adds up to orthostatic tachycardia and I feel like passing out, but I never did, my eyes become watery and I get tightness in my neck. I still think that anxiety is playing a major role in this, because stores are the worst place for me to be in while hospitals make me more relaxed ( I know weird ) and I don't have such noticeable feeling of dizziness in them.

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happens to me all the time... I have given in to shopping online for most things... and am fortunate to have a grocery store that delivers for 9.99, which may seem pricey, but when I'm home alone b/c Teri's away and in need of food, it seems like a bargain. It's especially helpful when it's hot out and I'll know I have to traverse a hot parking lot, then go into a crowded store which totally is overwhelming. Sometimes I shop late at night to avoid crowds, or during "off hours" .

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Guest brianala

Yes, but it depends on the store. I think it's a combination of sensory overload, standing up for too long, and fluorescent/poor lighting.

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Hi Michele...I get this way too. I don't notice it too much while shopping, although I usually don't feel well from the walking around and carrying things, but I notice it when driving a lot. If I turn my head to check my blind spot before changing lanes for example, my head will feel "wobbly" as I like to describe it. It is a very odd sensation and that is the best way I can describe it, sort of like a lightheaded sensation by different.

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I get this sensation at any time but it is worse in stores, malls, meetings,movie theaters, restaurants. I'm am usually a very social person and am not anxious around people at all. I used to give presentations and sing in public so I know it's not a social anxiety thing. I also feel kinda of like I'm "floating" or that the world is not attached correctly to it's axis and I can feel it revolving. Wierd feeling!!! This is actually the most disabling of my symptoms as it is hard to do anything when you feel like you are constantly moving and you know you are not. It's kinda like you feel like gravity isn't holding you securely to the earth. I feel this way most days. I no longer drive on most days because of this weird sensation.

I could handle the tachycardia, shortness of breath, chest pain and fatique a whole lot better if my body would stop with the anti-gravity experiment.

Smiling and floating, :huh:

Babette

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Throw Sara in that big ol pot also. She has the same problems with crowds, stores, anywhere that will get her overstimulated..... And needless to say she goes to very few outings besides doc appts.

Love to all

Susan

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Absolutely. Before my POTS diagnosis i thought it was just extreme fatigue. I get woozy, lightheaded, feeling like my body weighs ten tons yet that i'm floating at the same time. Even on a good day I only last a few minutes and then start getting black & fuzzy around the edges of my vision, really nauseous, and it's like if i don't find a chair right away i feel like i'll collapse. My Endo said this is common for POTS, but to hear it from you all helps.

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I have this too. This is one of my worst I think b/c I use to go places. I can't stand sitting at home especially with 2 kids. It's pretty much all the time. I'm laughing to myself b/c when I try to describe it everyone looks at me like I'm crazy but it's the same as many of you. I drive 60 miles one way to work so all the driving stinks especially with that feeling.

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I think it's a combination of sensory overload, standing up for too long, and fluorescent/poor lighting.

I experience this too. I have always wondered if it is the fluorescent lights because it also happens to me in other places with this kind of lighting. I do not feel anxious when it happens.

Summer

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I can totally relate. Before i got diagnosed with POTS i talked to many doctors about my weired symptoms. Since nobody could help me i tried to convince myself that there is nothing wrong with me and that its just in my head. When i went into stores i usually got bad symptoms straight away. I got lightheaded, dizzy, and couldnt walk straight, i felt drunk and disorientated. My HR shot up and i had to leave the store on regular bases only to sit down somewhere.

When i told my doctor he said, thats anxiety. So i went to the store almost every day, to proof to myself that its no anxiety. I studied my reactons and tried to learn from them. First i thought that it must be the bright lights that make me feel sick, than i thought it must be the moving around, turning my head

around, so i tried to always move my whole body, not just my neck. It didnt help also, this game went on and on.

Now after knowing and learning about POTS, i dont put any any pressure on me anymore. I still get them symptoms almost all the time. At work for example, there is a long hallway, and whenever i have to walk on it (on the way to the bathroom), i feel like iam drunk, sometimes i cant walk straight, it feels as if i just came out of an elevator. Whenever i turn around quick (even sitting down) i get like this. I also get like this in the cinema, noisy crowded rooms and so on. Or in restaurants with candles on the table (i always have to blow them out, otherwise i cant sit there long because of the candle light).

I dont go grocery shopping anymore, i wait in the car whilest my partner goes into the shops. But if i really need something and get excitied about something i want to buy, i go into a mall or a shop. I know my limits much better now, so i sit down, as soon as i feel my symptoms coming up. I even lay down, if i have to. I know, that these trips make me very ill at times,thats the reason why i dont want to take that risk by just going grocery shopping. But i take the risk when i really want to buy something wich happenes about 8 times a year or so.

carinara

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Could you have Meniere's. I have all those symptoms from Meniere's. Stores with tall shelves or aisle's close together will put me into a spin.

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My theory on this is that for some reason neon lights and busy environments either bring on POTS related symptoms because of the overstimulation or because everything is moving and hard to focus on and the normal visual cues i use to balance arent available to me. Im not sure why this is.

My father had heart failure and he reported the exact same symptom from that - so maybe its just related to reduced blood flow to the brain?

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Me too! Especially if I am in a large store like Walmart or Staples - something with high ceilings and flourescent lighting. I will only shop at these stores if I have limited items to get and during off hours when crowds and lines are low.....

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