Visual snow (VS) is the persisting visual symptom of seeing snow or television-like static across their visual field. The snow and static tends to be worse in the dark, but can be seen in all lighting conditions.
VS should not be confused with normal entopic phenomena or vitreous floaters. While these two conditions also cause you to see spots and floating objects, this is not the same as VS.
There is no known cause for visual snow. Through documented case studies illegal and legal drug usage can sometimes lead to VS, but little is known on the specific causes. A few connections between HPPD, auto-immune disease, and lyme disease have been found. However, far more cases of visual snow have no connection at all to another condition.
Although the vision is affected, very few people have had irregular eye test results. Most come back within normal range, leading doctors to believe that patients may be making their symptoms up. CT scans and MRIs also tend to come back normal, again stumping doctors. It is more likely to be an undetectable chemical imbalance in the brain.
The term visual snow is rather limiting for the condition as there are numerous symptoms that patients experience above and beyond visual snow. Many people also see after images, vitreous floaters, entopic phenomenon, glare, halos, starbursts, trails, palinopsia, double vision, odd colors and shapes. Many sufferers also have non-visual symptoms such as fatigue, tinnitus or depersonalization and derealisation.
There currently is no established treatment for visual snow. Many patients have tried migraine medication with little to no success. Other have tried herbs, cleansing, acupuncture, and chiropractors, again with little to no success.
It is important for you to realize that this is a 24/7 condition for these sufferers. The symptoms do not ever go away. Even with their eyes closed they see the static, afterimages and other disturbing visual images. With the help of a handful of caring doctors, the Eye on Vision Foundation strives to raise funds for research into finding a treatment.
Dr. Goadsby and Dr. Schankin are 100% committed to this research. They believe they found the area of the brain where VS is coming from. Hopefully this will lead to a treatment plan. Latest research paper http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/head.12378/full
Please email Prof, Goadsby and Dr. Schankin at
with the following information. If you already sent a brief "I'm interested" email, please RESEND with this information. Thank you so much!
Date of Birth (Day/Month/Year)
Willingness to be contacted for research
Indicating they are allowing us to keep the contact details solely for communication for research… it’s a European data protection thing…
Brief description of symptoms … I know it is difficult but for an email yes or no to the other symptoms
Short description of visual symptoms in own words:
Visual snow: what type (chose one):
- black and white (i.e. only black dots on white background, white dots on black background)
- clear (i.e. color of the background)
- flashing (i.e. always white, brighter than background)
- all of these
Other symptoms (yes or no)
- After images
- Trailing of images in the vision
- Blue field entoptic phenomenon (i.e. white squiggly lines moving pulsating on the blue sky)
- Floaters in vision
- Colored clouds or waves with eyes closed
- Flashes of light
- Impaired night vision
- Sensitive to light
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