Discussions By Condition: Eye conditions

Visual snow?

Posted In: Eye conditions 13 Replies
  • Posted By: chelizz
  • February 17, 2009
  • 05:55 AM

For years now, I've been experiencing what I can only describe as "visual snow" (Google it for photos, etc.). I'm not sure how long it's gone on, but it started early enough in my life that I kind of thought everyone saw that way until three or four years ago (I'm 21). I've told my optometrist about it, but he seemed confused about my symptoms and just said to tell him if they got worse.

The visual snow gets worse if I'm very tired or have sat in front of a computer screen for long periods of time. Also, it seems to be worse when I look at a large amount of the same color (for instance, a plain white wall or a clear, blue sky). Sunlight certainly does not help it, so I have to wear sunglasses outside unless it is quite cloudy.

My vision in general is not good (20/400 as opposed to 20/20...the big "E" on he chart is blurry) and has not been for around 12 years. It is correctable to 20/20, but this visual snow business does make it hard to function at times.

Does anyone know what could be causing this? Is there any treatment that you know of?

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13 Replies:

  • Do you experience migraines? Do you have any other symptoms? What medications are you currently taking?Do you take any drugs (like LSD)? Do you have depression or anxiety? Have you seen your GP, or just the Optometrist? You might want an MRI to rule out some things. A neurologist may also help. Best wishes :)
    Harmonium 322 Replies
    • February 17, 2009
    • 06:24 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm not on any medication, I've never taken drugs. I don't have depression or anxiety, really. I mean, in the past I've been depressed for a time (who wasn't in high school?) and I'm anxious sometimes, but not any more than normal levels of each, I don't think.I believe I've talked to my GP, but I'm not entirely sure.
    chelizz 2 Replies
    • February 17, 2009
    • 11:56 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm afraid I can't be of much help. :(I have done some research on this and all I find is that it can be a side effect of migraine. You didn't say whether or not you have migraine, but I would think that kind of aura would be an easy diagnosis for your doc. There are also cases where this is an optic nerve issue or the visual cortex in your brain operating at too high a baseline. (http://www.thevisioncommunity.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=171)I'm learning there hasn't been all that much research on visual snow. I would definitely mention this to your GP, but you might be the first case of this he/she has seen or treated. If you don't remember doing mentioning to your doc it can't hurt to bring it up (again?). However, I'm not finding a single case of this being corrected. What I'm learning is that people with visual snow have to learn to live with it. Good news is that you can live with this easily (if bothersome) and that it usually doesn't get worse. There do seem to be some message boards out there on the net just for this condition. You may have better luck there, I'm just not sure. There are also a couple of very knowledgeable doctors on this forum. I think one is a neurologist which may be of benefit to you. I hope they see this post and respond with better info than I can give.I'm sorry I can't help more. This must be very frustrating for you, seeing like that. I do hope you find some help! :)
    Harmonium 322 Replies
    • February 17, 2009
    • 02:03 PM
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  • Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention I do not experience migraines, nor is this type of sight a "sometimes" thing for me. I constantly see through a veil of "snow". I haven't had much luck in my research on the internet, but I'll keep looking. Thanks again.
    chelizz 2 Replies
    • February 17, 2009
    • 02:05 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention I do not experience migraines, nor is this type of sight a "sometimes" thing for me. I constantly see through a veil of "snow". I haven't had much luck in my research on the internet, but I'll keep looking. Thanks again.I have the EXACT same symptoms. Seriously, everything is exactly as you describe it. Been this way as long as I can remember, seems to be worse when I'm tired or after using a computer for a long time, but it's always there. It's like a veil of noise, you know, the kind you get when taking pictures or video at a high ISO. No migraines, no drug use, etc.The main community appears to be http://thosewithvisualsnow.yuku.com/It never bothered me too much until I started thinking about it... now I focus on it so I see it all the time! But when I am working on other things, I forget about it.
    DCTenor1 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • I used to get this is cut msg out of my diet and it seemed to go away. remember if u do this tho that msg comes under many names on products so research nething if ur changing your diet. the healthiest thing anyone can do is eat fresh raw organic foods. as there is msg in what crops are sprayed with aws well lol. http://www.truthinlabeling.org/I.AreYouSensitive.html
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the exact same thing. It seems to have gotten a bit worse in recent years. Google "persistent aura without infarction." It is a kind of atypical migraine not associated with severe headaches. I myself rarely get headaches, and when I do get them, they are not that bad.Any vertigo/vomiting/cognitive impairment? Those are some of my other aura symptoms.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 29, 2009
    • 02:22 AM
    • 0
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  • Ey I have read your message and I can say. I relate like many people do who have Visual Snow. Also when im tired or sick it's get worse and yes sitting behind a computer makes it worse for a while. I think the brain of someone with visual snow just can handle the imput of the "vision what you see" I am 23 and had visual snow from the age of 13. I just found out half year ago and I am trying all kinds of medication that might work...But the fact that I know now what I have makes my life enjoyble again. And stress makes it worse also..Try to relax enjoy yourself life healthy and just think that how more people have this the more changes are they are going to study it and try to work out a cure.Also do a VEEG test: A test where you sit behind a monitor with a red dot in the center and behind it is a "chessboard" well it looks like it with black and white blockes. You have one eye patched up and have wires on your head, you have to focus on the red dot while the "chessboard" "moves" or changes shapes while it being registrated on the pc. Then your other eye get patched up and visa versa. A simuler test (or maybe the same test) Is when you lay on a bed and you have to close and open your eyes when the docter say so and also they let lights go on and off.. I got a abnormal reading ..twice so I think its going to be also with you.Check these sites out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_snowAnd these link on youtube I think this can work for real: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3jOe3NZsYA send it to people who have it also!You got msn then we can talk my msn is ben__1987@hotmail.combest of luck Ben!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ey I can relate to you its simular to myself and people who also have Visual Snow. I also have the same problem when I set to long behind a pc or I get ill with a fever or something. I have it from the age of 13 and I am know 23. I have looked for ten years what it was what I have... I just found out about a half year ago from googling the english word static. I am from holland so that word was not the first "google word" I tryed...When I found out about it my anxiety and depression went away because I realised that I know now what I have... And also stress make it worse (for the moment) so my advise to you is to relax have fun go out eat healthy and think about it when it's worse just think well it goes up and down... And how more people have this "illness" the more the changes are they are going to research it! I also are trying all kind of medication which you can find on : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_snow Also i found this link and I think it can be the answer if you can post this on sites about visual snow please do : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3jOe3NZsYAAlso you got msn then I can add you we can talk my msn is ben__1987@hotmail.comalright best of luck and maybe I talk to youGreetz Ben
    BenNL1987 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Does anyone know what could be causing this? Is there any treatment that you know of?Hello,This may be way out there, but have you considered overactive cryptochrome in the retinal eye pigment?Read this web page, but in particular scroll down to the bottom of the abstract and look at how cryptochrome is implicated in overlaying vision in birds to give them their magnetic sense used in migration.University of IllinoisCryptochrome and Magnetic SensingAnimal Magnetoreceptionhttp://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/cryptochrome/ It seems to be a correlation to visual snow to me. Most all people can visualize this but it takes concentration and is known as "Closed Eye Visualization" and is deemed a hallucination."Closed-eye hallucinations and closed-eye visualizations (CEV) are a distinct class of hallucination. These types of hallucinations generally only occur when one's eyes are closed or when one is in a darkened room. They are a form of phosphene.The most basic form of CEV perception that can be immediately experienced in normal waking consciousness involves a seemingly random noise of pointillistic light/dark regions with no apparent shape or order.This can be seen when you close your eyes, but try to actively look with your eyes at the back of your closed eyelids. In a bright room, a dark red can be seen, owing to a small amount of light penetrating the eyelids and taking on the color of the blood within them. In a dark room, blackness can be seen or the object can be more colourful. But in either case it is not a flat unchanging redness/blackness. Instead, if actively observed for a few minutes, one becomes aware of an apparent disorganized motion, a random field of lightness/darkness that overlays the redness/blackness of your closed eyelids.For a person who tries to actively observe this closed-eye perception on a regular basis, there comes a point where if you look at a flat-shaded object with your eyes wide open, and try to actively look for this visual noise, you will become aware of it and see the random pointillistic disorganized motion as if it were a translucent overlay on top of what is actually being seen by your open eyes.When seen overlaid onto the physical world, this CEV noise does not obscure physical vision at all, and in fact is hard to notice if the visual field is highly patterned, complex, or in motion. When you stop trying to actively observe it, it is not obvious or noticeable, and seemingly disappears from normal physical perception. Individuals suffering from visual snow see similar noise but experience difficulty blocking it from conscious perception."You may be a very lucky person.This may be a correlation for you to investigate further.Regards,Tom
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 6, 2010
    • 01:03 PM
    • 0
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  • It's 3:00 a.m. and I decided to google "eye pixels" for my condition when I discovered it is Visual Snow. I also have constant tinnitus. I have gone to several doctors and optometrists over the years for this and I have been given the same "Look". Two years ago I had a brain tumor removed and since the surgery the VS has increased dramatically, but I cannot find any professional willing to consider my condition without thinking I'm crazy. Several weeks ago my Neurologist sent me to have a sleep evaluation (unrelated to the VS) and I was asked if I had any medical concerns, and I told him about the increased pixels and static, I also told him about the increased tinnitus, and he asked me "Do the voices and images tell you to do things?" I have had enough!!! Does anyone out there know a legitimate doctor that treats this??
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 4, 2011
    • 09:45 AM
    • 0
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  • Hey everyone!I suffer from visual snow, i've done many eye tests to rule out what it was. I went and saw a specialist where he says what people are seeing is a Visual Migraine. Yah, sounds absurd but it makes sense...To anybody who smokes marijuana, watch out... My visual snow was definately drug induced. I was smoking marijuana before I decided to pop some ecstasy. Now, when I smoked weed I got the visual snow, I thought it was part of the whole getting high process. I've been smoking it everyday for about 3 and a half years. When I was coming off the ecstasy, I noticed my visual snow stayed. The next day, I was still experiencing it... my body went through some crazy stuff, that i thought was from the ecstasy... the initial hangover of ecstasy. I ended being hospitalized as I was really depressed, lethargic, couldnt breathe, blood pressure was high... I always complained about my eyes, but I wear contacts so my vision stayed 20/20 even with the layer of visual snow.Almost two years later and some days it gets better, some days worse...There is no known cure, and any specialist won't waste their time on you...and is what is explained as a natural phenomena
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I also have vs and tinnitus, which is so annoying. I feel like ive always had it slightly but noticed it over the last 6 months more. I finished uni and got very depressed with my gf moving far away stuck in a horrible job, I feel like no one understands really or takes this seriously. I don't know if gthe depression/anxiety caused it or weed/esctasy which I did very rarely a handful of times, but either way it had knocked my confidence. Id love to talk fb me stephen marc sheldrake :)
    Steveymysta 1 Replies Flag this Response
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