Just my opinion, but I think you've overdone it in your re-write - it's turned very poetic and that doesn't fit with what I feel you are trying to say. Did you let yourself be swayed by all the advice and try to incorporate it all? Remember, you can't please everyone.
If you decide to carry on with this particular version, which does show much more than the first, you may like to think about a couple of things which occurred to me:
Leaves do the rustling, whereas tree branches might make a sound if there's a strong enough wind to cause them to rub together.
'Pondering' seems far too contemplative for someone in his position. He's just woken up blind and lost in an unknown place. I don't think I'd feel like 'pondering' my dilemma; I think I'd be too panicked.
The other thing which made me pause was the 'furious thrashing of his heartbeats'. It's an interesting way to try to describe the phenomenon, but I simply don't get thrashing of a heart. You've said his heartbeats are 'booming in his ears'.
And now I read it again, I suggest you could lose the reference to nightmares - in this re-write, it's lost relevance to what's going on.
I took a small mental step away from the details and thought:
The blindness is caused by a magical spell so, in your world, there could actually be absolutely nothing. But you will need to know exactly what the spell does, so that you understand the effects, even if you don't spell it (sorry) out to the reader. So I then went on to wonder if you should be too concerned with degrees of blindness and recognition of the ways darkness is perceived within this section. I'd be more inclined to concentrate on the visceral aspect and the immediate experience. That's assuming this take on it will fit into your overall story.
If there is more to write, it may be time, as Glyn suggested, to leave it alone for now, work on another chapter or part of the story and then go back to this bit. It's easy to get bogged down in a small part of the whole. When you return, you may well find that your subconscious mind will have sorted out how it should be. Happens to me all the time.