Thursday, October 18, 2007

Neurological Conditions: when everything turns blue

I see blue, it is one of the odd side effects of my neuro condition when I get tired or before/during a major attack; or rather the whole world takes on a blue tint. I suppose if I had a choice between being “blue” or “seeing blue”, seeing blue isn’t that bad.

I first noticed it a couple months ago at the end of the sailing program (the one where I was ambulanced away) and kept saying; “Blue……blue……blue.” One of my eyes has always been a bit blue dominant and the other a bit yellow dominant but only when I have high fevers (like 103-106 degrees) does it get to the point where I can close one eye and the world is tinted blue and close the other eye and the world is tinted yellow (close both eyes really tight and it is sparkly!). I have added two pictures from our trip on the Sunshine Coast, BC. The on top is what the world looks like (if you can believe the disposable camera) while the picture below is similar to what I see (if perhaps even more blue).

This means the clouds are blue, and anything that might normally be grey (like pavement) and other similar dark colours becomes blue. These days, if I have a few days where I push myself physically or don’t get enough sleep then occasionally, before I sleep in the afternoon I will have a “Blue” episode. Earlier this week Linda was pushing me down the street and I was pointing at things and saying, “Blue” and she was saying, “No, that’s dark brown.” I point, “Blue!” Her: “No, that a sort of green.” It is easier for me to tell that the visual effect has happened outside because when the entire clouds cover is blue, that’s a pretty big clue.

Inside, in a darkened room however, it can sneak up on you, as I told one of my home care workers, “That top really looks good on you, blue is a good colour for you.” They looked at the top, they looked at me and said, “It’s not blue.” Eeeep! “Well,” I said, “What I see looks good, and after I sleep, I'll see if THAT colour top looks good too.”

My only problem is that I can’t seem to find any other cases of “seeing blue” as a neuro symptom and I feel rather embarrassed bringing it up since the few times I did (to some people with MS and a person with parkinsons’) they gave me funny looks. Oh well, on the one hand you might not want me to do the colour co-ordination for your wedding, but on the other hand, I do like the colour blue so I am sure to compliment more people on their good taste as time goes by.

Please let me know if you have any odd tics, visions or other (I do have the traditional double vision, partial blindness, inability to focus as well – just not as interesting as.....blue!)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Right before I'm about to faint, my vision turns into tv-set static.

Casdok said...

Yes blue is an interesting one!
I would love to know what my son sees!

Sara said...

I never experienced that, exactly, but once I ate some magic mushrooms at Zuma Beach and then became obsessed with blue for an entire day. It was the ocean, you know. And the sky. So blue. So very blue. So many different particles of blue-ness.

My friend and I went shopping after that and everything I bought was blue.

shiva said...

"Earlier this week Linda was pushing me down the street and I was pointing at things and saying, “Blue” and she was saying, “No, that’s dark brown.” I point, “Blue!” Her: “No, that a sort of green.”

I couldn't help laughing at that image - it reminded me of Lou and Andy from "Little Britain". You just might have confirmed a few people's disability stereotypes... but, having seen your most recent post at Ouch!, i suspect you enjoyed that... ;)

I did have an argument with my ex about whether her eyes were brown or green once... i think that had more to do with linguistic definition than actual colour perception, tho...

kathz said...

At least blue seems to have something going for it. Barbie pink mightn't be such a good idea - or really loud checks and tartans.

I like blue.

When I'm tired or feeling faint I find I lose a bit of peripheral vision - probably normal and not nearly as interesting as blue.

I believe sone migraine sufferers see colours when affected but I don't know if it's the same sort of thing.

all the best

abi said...

One of the questions which has always puzzled me is that of how differently other people see colours. I always used to wonder if what I saw a blue, somebody else might see as red (although they would call it blue because they had been taught it that way).

Since studying more biology, I have concluded that most non-colourblind people see colours in a fairly similar way. However, I have noticed that if I lie in the sun in such a way that one eye is in the shade, the shady eye sees much richer and warmer colours for a while; the sunny eye sees colours as more washed out. I have thus come to the conclusion that there are probably small individual differences in the colour vision of normal people, possibly because the rods and cones in their eyes are built differently.

Well, there was a ramble you didn't ask for! Sorry about that.

elizabeth said...

When I get migraines - my peripheral vision is normal but everything in the middle where I can focus gets blurry. It is freaky.

Two Dishes said...

Wait -- you are the first person to also notice a color differential from left eye to right eye. I have different amounts of red vision in my two eyes.

Marla Fauchier Baltes said...

That is fascinating. My daughter complains a lot about the light. In fact today she is inside on a gorgeous day wanting all the blinds closed because of the light bothering her. She also gets very upset when she can notice the flicker in lights. Almost all lights do it and she will get very upset about it. That is one reason I think school was so hard for her. Sometimes before a seizure she talks about smelling something strong. She has never talked about colors though. I will have to ask her about that. It sounds like you have a healthy attitude about it. I admire that about you.

Denise said...

When I feel quite lightheaded, I see dark holes and other distortions of the shape of things around me. Your symptoms almost sound like a type of synesthesia to me, experiencing one sense as another. The symptom itself isn't so odd as its seemingly sudden onset. You might have better luck searching for phrases including synesthesia rather than only seeing a specific color.

Track Runna said...

Hi, My name is Mike, and I am not sure when it happens, although I think it is when I am doing sports, my right eye sees with a blue tint, what is wrong with me!?

concerned mom said...

MY 13 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER JUST RECENTLY STARTED TELLING ME THAT SHE WAS SEEING IN BLUE & SOMETIMES YELLOW. AT FIRST IT SEEMED IT HAPPENED ONLY AT P.E. BUT NOW IT HAPPENS AT HOME AFTER NO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS?

Anonymous said...

I was out walking one day a few years ago and after looking through binoculars the whole world took on a bright blue tint, more than a tint actually it was very blue and very frightening. I called my dad, who was an eye specialist and he told me that I had held the binoculars too close to my eyes and bruised them he said it would pass in a few minutes...which it did. Scary though.

Kerry said...

I was out walking one day a few years ago and after looking through binoculars the whole world took on a bright blue tint, more than a tint actually it was very blue and very frightening. I called my dad, who was an eye specialist and he told me that I had held the binoculars too close to my eyes and bruised them (?) He said it would pass in a few minutes...which it did. Scarey though. It has never happened again.

Ayanna said...

I'm not sure when this blog was last checked, but I have a question. What is the neuroligcal condition that would cause someone to see everything in blue? I have just recently had this experience.

Elizabeth McClung said...

The problem with seeing "Blue" is that it either can be checked by a eye specialist - or if there is a neurological problem, then nothing with show up. However, seeing blue is a common side effect of Viagra which means that there is a section of the brain that can make you see different colors, or shading the world in a color. For me, when I get a fever, yellow and when I am tired blue - I have not yet found a cure for this - it is also good to see if it comes out of both eyes as if it doesn't a simple remedy is to order a trendy eyepatch. I wish I could give youa definative answer but I don't have one. There is no corrolation or connection between serious neurological conditions and this effect, however, it is a neurological effect.

Anonymous said...

Odd as this may sound, when I am totally relaxed - usually after having been with my wonderful significant other - I see blue. I see blue as a haze before my eyes. The light in the room will be tinted with it, the colour of his lips will be a shade of purple instead of their usual pink. I feel flushed, lightheaded, and occasionally as if my blood pressure has fallen. It is never scary, as I mentioned it is only from an extreme heightened state of relaxation. I have tried to reproduce this in my meditation, but I have been unsuccessful. I also suffer from a neurological condition - so perhaps there is a correlation there as well.

Anonymous said...

Tonight my wife and I were driving through town and all of the sudden I started seeing headlights and all of the lit up signs with a blue tint. I have no idea what caused it or why. I do know that in the past while looking at stars and using a red lens flashlight to read the star map I have afterwords noticed that normal light will have a blue tint. We were sitting and talking for awhile tonight, maybe I was staring at the red dash lights in my car for too long and this caused it. Hope this helps.

Lavona R Nelson said...

This is so strage. It's never happened to me before, but today while relaxing with my wonderful Jonny, I noticed that my left eye was noticeably viewing everything with a blue tint.

I didn't take any viagra, no migraine coming on.. I'm a bit tired and could take a nap.

It's pretty neat, and it's less scary knowing other people have experienced it. There has to be a medical name for this phenomenon. I'l keep search for information for the time being.

Sonia said...

19 yr old daughter seeing blue now for the past 7 days now test after test no answers..its taking a toll on her metally and physically! Someone help please!

Anonymous said...

It happened to me today. Lasted an hour or so.Trying to find info online I came across your page.
In my case, it happened after taking a "blue pill" Not a viagra but a herbal "natural" equivalent.
I bought it off ebay. You can take a look at it here http://cgi.ebay.com/V-max-12-3000mg-Penis-Erection-Sex-Pills-/270700750482?pt=UK_Health_HealthCare_RL&hash=item3f0705a692
You can also read the ingredients and see if something looks familiar.

BTW it didn't work as expected... :-(

Anonymous said...

I found some more info on the subject. The condition seems to be called "color tinge to vision".
It is a side effect of viagra AND some other drugs. Take a look here http://www.livestrong.com/article/206044-medications-that-affect-color-vision/
Are you on any kind of medication? Read the ingredients and see if they match the ones mentioned above. Maybe it's not neurological after all.
I hope I've helped.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that happens to me too. My right eye sees 20/30 with an astigmatism, and my left eye is 20/15 or so. When I am tired my right eye sees a blue tint, sometimes very blue. I am not otherwise colorblind. It seems to happen most nights I am lacking sleep. It's quite frustrating and I wish there were an answer.

Vic said...

Almost daily, everything goes blue, but i can't see anything. It's like going blind for three seconds... Sometimes it's a short period of time, sometimes long... Why?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Vic: if you aren't on any of the medications listed, I recommend seeing a neurologist, you may be experiencing one of the 2,500 types of seizures. For example, my left eye sees black and white TV fuzz for a few seconds or longer. I wear a patch when needed but also an anti-seizure medication reduced the events by 65%. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

hi thanks for your article.
im looking this up because im noticing this is happening to me.
my left eye sees yellow & the right sees blue.
i also see the 'tv static' pattern sometimes but its only when im relaxing with my eyes closed & i get startled by a loud noise.

i saw a tv program years ago & it was about a famous painter, maybe rembrandt or someone, but they remarked that he had macular degeneration & how over the years his paintings developed a more blue tone as the condition progressed.

its a bit of a worry.

Anonymous said...

oh, the painter was claude monet.
................................

"Ever heard of an eye condition that causes a perceived color shift?"

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=562623

Cfldjamie said...

I've been seeing everything in Blue on and off for 3 years.
More recently the attacks have been getting worse and I now have had blue vision for four months.
Went to A&E only to be told it was a migraine (except I've not got any pain).
They then said it may be a form of Cyanopsia - however I do not take any of the drugs mentioned and have not had a cataract removal.
So still no further on!!!!

The Branands said...

Our son has his vision go to a solid color. Sometimes its just blue other times it goes from blue to green to yellow, etc. Once it ended in black and he just couldn't see for a little bit. He also sees things that just glow and he knows they aren't there but its still scary he's only 8. So far none of his doctors know what it is. Another friend of ours has a child with superior semicircular canal dehiscence. He would see things that weren't there. When it was fixed it all went away. He also had intracranial pressure that was too high. This went down when the SCDS was repaired.