There is a feeling or sensation when you stand up suddenly and you feel giddy and your eyes turn black. That's how we say in our native language. The sensation is like everything disappears and you don't see anything even though your eyes are open. You only see black... Is there a word for that sensation (eyes becoming black)?

I searched a lot but didn't find anything. Could you help me please?

Thanks a lot.

  • The giddiness is a symptom of what is termed postural (or orthostatic) hypotension. But blurred vision is more usual than what you describe. Seeing spots and tunnel vision are also possible. Apr 23 '20 at 16:44
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    I will note that this comes close to the definition of "black out", thought that usually implies the onset of unconsciousness.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 23 '20 at 16:51
  • @mohsinraza - As I said, the term usually implies the onset of unconsciousness.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 23 '20 at 17:16
  • But I would note that the scenario you describe would often be accompanied by severe dizziness and a chance of at least stumbling for an instant.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 23 '20 at 17:18
  • An M.D here. As long as you are not in the dark and there has been no loss of consciousness, you'll still see somelhing. You vision may severely cloudy or blurred (as mentioned by @EdwinAshworth in a comment) but a complete blackout will only occur when you lose consciousness, no matter how brief the episode.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 23 '20 at 17:53

Ah, I think what you're referring to is tunnel vision, one of the possible side-effects of postural hypotension.

It is described here by Wikipedia, including many possible causes, and illustrations showing impressions of the effect.

This CDC article includes it as being a possible result of postural hypotension:


• Dizziness or lightheadedness

• Feeling about to faint, passing out, or falling

• Headaches, blurry or tunnel vision

• Feeling vague or muddled ...

  • "Tunnel vision" has a very strong metaphorical association, meaning a person who is (usually intentionally) unaware or uncaring of anything other than what he is focused on. (Many politicians and businessmen fit this description.)
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 23 '20 at 17:20
  • That's what I experience. Thank you so much! Apr 25 '20 at 9:40

Medically it's syncope (can happen after a sudden drop in blood pressure), what was during restoration times known as "a touch of the vapours" (referring to the sal volatile - ammonum salts used to revive people); though this was a catch-all term for various conditions, physical and emotional.

Lightheadedness or dizziness (a sensation of spinning around and losing one's balance. Oxford) would be more common now.

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    In a syncopal episode there is loss of consciousness and the OP does not mention that.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 23 '20 at 17:35
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    @Centaurus Even the cited definition doesn't give the necessity of unconsciousness. It simply says that can occur. (No doubt if it's severe enough.) Apr 23 '20 at 18:28
  • Syncope, by definition, is a sudden loss of consciousness due to diminished blood flow to the brain. It may be the result of a sudden drop in blood pressure, or a very slow heart rate as in a heart block, If somebody experiences all symptoms like blurred vision, sweating, lightheadedness, but still does not pass out, you call it presyncope..
    – Centaurus
    Apr 23 '20 at 19:06

Maybe you're thinking of orthostatic hypotension which I usually call head rush, and indeed, the wikipedia page redirects "Head rush" to that page. However, Lexico gives the definition as "A feeling of intense and sudden euphoria, especially as the result of taking drugs", so maybe use caution before using that term.

  • The OP is not asking for a diagnosis but a phrase for the symptom they described.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 23 '20 at 17:38
  • @Centaurus Head rush is actually a symptom of hypotension. Apr 23 '20 at 18:26
  • @Jason Bassford ... though not the specific one OP mentions. Apr 23 '20 at 18:30
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    @EdwinAshworth Here's what the definition of head rush as provided in the answer says (emphasis mine): "A feeling of intense and sudden euphoria, especially as the result of taking drugs." Here's a definition of result: "something that indicates the existence of something else." So, head rush is a symptom, as clearly indicated in the answer, of orthostatic hypotension. The fact that Wikipedia redirects one thing to something else is far less conclusive than specific dictionary definitions. Apr 23 '20 at 18:36
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    @Jason Bassford And here's one from M-W: head rush [noun] [informal] : a sudden lightheaded or dizzy feeling. But then one from Healthline: The medical definition of a head rush is a systolic blood pressure drop of at least 20 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) or a diastolic blood pressure drop of at least 10 mm Hg within 2 to 5 minutes of standing. Doubtless there are conflicting definitions here. Apr 23 '20 at 18:41

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