Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

20Sep/05Off

Thanks to Neuro, I now know why you get dizzy and nauseous when you get really drunk.

Normally the part of your ear that is responsible for recognizing angular rotation (i.e. quickly looking to the right, left, up, down, etc.) isn't responsive to gravity. However, when you drink copiously, the fluid in the inner ear becomes less dense... and all of a sudden, gravity makes your ears think that your head is spinning. Note: this doesn't happen to drunk astronauts.

What's important about this? If someone is drunk and lying on a couch, complaining that the "room is spinning", look at their eyes. The eyes will slowly move to one side, and then quickly flick back to the other. Repeat ad nauseum (no pun intended). These eye movements, called nystagmus, are normally responsible for letting you read a road sign when you're riding in a car. For example, you track the sign slowly with your eyes, and then quickly flick back to a new point of interest.

When you're drinking, though, it's what cops use to test if you're drunk.

Fun party tricks we learn from med school.

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