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Author Topic: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues  (Read 420 times)

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Offline Riddle

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Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:51:48 AM »
So, this is what really set me off on my latest anxiety kick.

In April I woke up with "visual snow" - seeing flickering TV snow/static in my vision 24/7. It is more noticeable against the sky or large blank surfaces like walls. It's very noticeable in low light and has made me practically blind in the dark because the dots are in the way.

Shortly after, I started seeing this black spot/shape/blob in the centre of my vision whenever I blink in a low light setting. It's the same in both eyes, I've tried blinking them individually. It only lasts a split second but it's almost like a delay in my central vision. If I open my eyes, blink or even turn my head to look at another part of the room, I see the shape appear against the wall for a split second.

I then noticed I get a bright white flash in the same place whenever I blink against a bright sky, or when I first wake up and look out of the window. It's like a small white flashbulb - again, present in both eyes. It seems to have something to do with going quickly from dark to light.

I got quite loud tinnitus at the same time as visual snow too, a high-pitched frequency noise searing through my head.

I've been to see an Ophthalmologist now, and had my eyes thoroughly tested and they are ok. However, they want to do an MRI. So, of course I'm now going out of my mind with worry that this is a brain tumour. The doctor didn't seem to think this was likely (of course she couldn't say for definite which is understandable) as I don't have any other symptoms like headaches, nausea etc; these aren't classic visual symptoms of a tumour (I passed the visual fields test for example); and I wasn't put on the urgent waiting list which they would have done if they suspected a tumour. However, I'm still going mad with worry and convinced the end is near.

I know the likelihood is this is all linked to visual snow as it appeared around about the same time, and with visual snow you see lots of other visual weirdness. Being an overly anxious and hyper-aware person I've probably been concentrating on my vision too much lately, therefore more likely to notice things. Yet I can't shake my worries. I know seeing this spot in both eyes means it's a neurological thing.

The crazy thing in all this is I found out my mother sees the same things I do. She has the visual snow and the shape in the centre of her vision (I asked her to test if she sees something in her vision when she blinks or opens her eyes in low lighting and she described the shape and movement of the spot thing I see without me telling her, and described it so well that I'm convinced it's the same thing I see). You'd think this would reassure me but I can't shake the nagging doubt that I've got something really serious wrong with my brain.
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Offline emily1994

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 04:32:59 PM »
I've had every single one of the symptoms you've described. I have had two MRIs of my brain, and both came back normal. I really wouldn't worry about a tumor! Just get the MRI, don't question the results and stop worrying about it! I went through a brain tumor fear for months. I had many crazy symptoms, but turned out fine. Don't worry!
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Online mollyfin

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 04:35:09 PM »
I have all of these symptoms and then some.  No brain tumor.  I had an MRI for something unrelated not long before that all started and it was totally unremarkable. 
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Offline Riddle

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 08:19:54 AM »
Thanks, I was going out of my mind with anxiety when I wrote this. Feeling a bit better today.

The weird spot when I blink sometimes freaks me out the most, I started to become really obsessed with it.
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Offline Rob783

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2014, 09:11:21 AM »
I've looked into visual snow myself.  It could just be normal floaters in our eyes.  That's what my optometrist said. I doubt we all have brain tumors or a rare illness.  To me it looks like an old TV that's out of tune, like you need to adjust the rabbit ears. I was born with a lazy eye so that also effected my vision, I recently had it surgically repaired and reduced my double vision.
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Offline Riddle

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2014, 05:50:37 AM »
Yeah that's exactly what it looks like. Hopefully nothing bad - most people with visual snow seem to get clean MRI results. There was a recent study using PET scans where they identified a hypermetabolic region of the brain in people with visual snow.

I wonder if there is a link with anxiety since a lot of people with anxiety appear to get it.

It's not physically anything in my eye, had my eyes checked. Just wish I could stop worrying about it but it's very difficult, feel like I need a holiday away from my mind sometimes.
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Offline Rob783

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2014, 11:59:08 AM »
I think anxious people are hyper vigilant to begin with.  I guess its normal to see these things and were just blowing it up more then it is.
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Offline Robi

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 08:02:02 PM »
This sounds like something I experience called Occular Migraines. It's a visual disturbance without pain (usually), but is still considered a migraine. Mine can be triggered by looking into a bright light.  It's kinds of a spinning prizm type thing that gradually gets worse and then better. The whole thing for me lasts 20-30 minutes.  I saw a neurologist who did an MRI- completely normal. It helps to log them and keep track of what you have eaten before or what may have triggered it. They are harmless, although my neuro said anytime you have visual disturbances it is good to get an MRI to rule out everything else. I think hormones and anxiety are triggers of mine.
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Offline Riddle

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 07:23:51 AM »
I have those sort of migraine sometimes too but this visual snow has been continuous since April. It's like my vision has switched and it won't turn back to how it was before.

I'm pretty blind in the dark now because there's all these grainy, static dots in the way of everything. But I can see it all the time, even in bright daylight when I look at the walls or the sky I see it.

It was just so sudden - I went to bed one night and woke the next morning to completely altered vision.
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Offline Coreen15

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2014, 07:36:04 AM »
I have something similar to you except mine looks like little sparkly fire flys dancing around everywhere and I only see it in bright surfaces or lighting. I too have had the static like vision but in the dark and it lasted for a few minutes. I have other weird vision things too like I'll see a black spot in my peripheral vision for a second. It's not a floater because it doesn't move just appears for a second against a wall or something. I also experience after images once in a while or just seen random flashes. It also seems like I see double vision far away when reading but opthamologist says it's a condition called myopia which is nearsighted. I have had an oct test and visual field test and all came back normal. He doesn't thing there is anything wrong. So strange that we experience these weird vision issues
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Offline Riddle

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2014, 12:12:16 PM »
Sounds similar to mine, especially the black spot. That sounds exactly like mine except my spot appears in the dead centre of my vision.

I get random flashes in the dark too. Pretty nervous about it all. Had all these eye tests just waiting for an MRI and ERG.



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Offline OcclastLion

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Re: Visual Snow and Other Vision Issues
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2014, 11:07:00 PM »
Hey Riddle i have some answers for you regarding the spot in the centre of your vision.

In every eye there are two type of cells rods and cone cells, rod cells are located in the peripheral part of the retina they are what allows you to see out of the corner of your eye and they can only see two types of colour white and black (every human is colour blind in their peripheral vision because of this) the rod cells are highly active during night time or whenever your in the dark they allow us all to see in the dark.
Cone cells are located in the macula and fovea they are what allow us to see through are central vision, they also allow us to see colour, if you look at this full stop   .    you have just used your cone cells.

Now cone cells are deactivated during the time your in the dark (every human is blind in their central vision in the dark because of this) there are no rod cells in the centre of your eye so if you look at a white wall in the dark and blink you will see a black spot, if you close your eyes for five minutes and open them in a well lit room, then look at a wall you will notice a shadow in the centre of your vision this is because your cells are adapting and how they are placed within the eye.

Pilots use something called averted vision when flying in the dark (its where they look away from something to see it) because they know how the eye works due to their training.

Blinking at a bright background will allow you to see almost the same affect because your cutting all the light off from your cone cells and then when you open the eyes again they have to re adapt, so if i havent given you a clear answer then google rods and cones, dont panic it will explain everything in more detail and it wont scare you.

Also google maxwells spot, that is the name of the phenomenon regarding your central vision spot, the fact that you can see it so well points towards you having very good healthy vision.

Every retinal doctor you have seen will know what was worrying you, however explaining everything i have is time consuming plus they have to cover there back just in case.
You and your mother could both see it so can i so can everyone else, apart from those who have something wrong with their central vision, remember that the next time you get the fear.

Peace and health.

Johnny Lyon.
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