The research suggests that Visual Snow isn’t a persistent migraine aura, but rather a rare disease in of its own.
Results showed that in addition to visual snow, nearly all patients reported other visual symptoms, such floaters (73%); persistent visual images (63%); difficulty seeing at night (58%); tiny objects moving on the blue sky (57%); sensitivity to light (54%); trails behind moving objects (48%); bright flashes (44%); and colored swirls, clouds, or waves when their eyes were closed (41%).
Read ‘Visual Snow: What is this neurological disorder about‘ for more recent research and information
Visual snow is this constant moving static in the visual field. For me, it is much worse in dim lighting. And it does come with the symptoms above. For me, persistent visual after images, poor night vision, blue field phenomena, photophobia, trails, the seeing flashes and colours with eyes closed.
I have had this before I ever had a migraine. Around the age of 12. However, it coincided with a corona aura I began to have… so I likely was getting silent migraines at that age.
I admit I’ve had a real fascination with visual snow since I joined a Facebook group of other people with it because I have learned a great deal more about it. I thought it was just a prolonged migraine aura, but it turns out people have visual snow and never have migraines at all. And those of us who do have migraines with aura they call it a ‘persistent migraine aura’ but really it is visual snow. A stand-alone neurological condition that can be co-morbid with migraines, and the co-morbid factor is high for sure… like 50% of people with vs have migraine but that leaves 50% who do not.
It is hard to treat. I know that from experience. In fact, of the medications they use, which are primarily migraine preventatives the fail rate of treatment for visual snow is 92%
The most recent research has found the area of the visual cortex to be affected and it is a hypermetabolism in the supplementary visual cortex (lingual gyrus). They are still looking into the connection the condition has to migraine from the high comorbidity.
I sort of get how they can be comorbid with migraines. With migraines with aura the visual cortex is getting overstimulated and thus the aura phenomena. Over and over and over again. I think that alone could trigger VS. Especially in someone with FM where their brains are all hyperactive anyway. I have no clue what the trigger event would be otherwise. And I hope studies will show what triggers it on its own. Or what is really going on there. It is a fascinating disease.
With my migraines being chronic and the vestibular migraine and the visual snow it makes me wonder if maybe it is more like epilepsy than we think. This constant storm in that area of the brain that shouldn’t be stimulated. Who knows?
On a personal note for some reason, my visual snow is getting significantly worse and I have no idea why. But other that all the static, which is stronger than it was. I’m getting a shaky visual field that is making it difficult to look at anything. Even read or computer time is hard for any length of time.
I use these FL-41 migraine specs for some of the Visual snow symptoms (light sensitivity for one major one)