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Author Topic: Why do we see spots in our vision when we stretch?  (Read 9442 times)

Charlie

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Charlie asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why when we stretch or stand up quickly do we see stars or spots on the edges of our vision for a few moments...

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 03/01/2010 11:19:16 by Karen W. »

latebind

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Re: Why do we see spots in our vision when we stretch?
« Reply #1 on: 27/12/2009 13:53:24 »
Hey there

With regard to your question, there are 2 specific parts I see.

1) Standing up quick.

When you stand up very quickly, then the inertia in your body causes the blood to run out of your head and neck and upper body. Thus you see stars and some people may faint.




2) Stretching

This happens to me too but I also get a headache sometimes!

[2.1] I think this is something different, when you stretch your entire body, you strecth the veins and arteries a bit as well, and in doing that you increase the distance that blood has to travel around the body which means that again your brain gets less blood and you see stars and feel feint.

OR [option 2.2] - I like this one better

When you stretch you entire body, you are squeezing many muscles at the same time, and they all require oxygen, this sudden requirement of oxygen by all the muscles being stretched causes less oxygen to be available in the blood for the brain and hence you see stars...

Thats my 2 cents worth :)


« Last Edit: 27/12/2009 13:58:46 by latebind »

RD

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Re: Why do we see spots in our vision when we stretch?
« Reply #2 on: 27/12/2009 18:15:39 »
You could be performing the Valsalva maneuver whilst stretching ...

Quote
A modified version [of the Valsalva maneuver] is done by expiring against a closed glottis.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valsalva

which can cause blood presure to drop dramatically ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valsalva#Physiological_response
« Last Edit: 27/12/2009 18:23:16 by RD »

 

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