Hi, I’m Lian, i have the most beautiful hair in the world and today I want to tell you about Visual Snow. What is Visual Snow? Visual Snow, a kind of visual noise interfering with your vision is a phenomenon that’s not been studied very well yet. It’s unknown where it comes from, there are a few doctors researching it I think one of them is a neurologist in munich, worldwide there’s only a small group of people researching the subject and trying to find out what Visual Snow is, where it comes from and how you can treat it. Not everyone who has Visual Snow even knows that they have it or that it’s out of the ordinary. I too have Visual Snow. I was downright shocked when I found out that there are people who really see only smooth black when it’s completely dark. I don’t experience that at all. So when I’m lying in bed at night, in front of my eyes there are beautiful flickering, coloured dots, they form patterns and they’re just there. Most of the time they’re not so noticeable. In normal brightness there’s just a bit of flickering that I just always have everywhere in my field of vision, it’s not disturbing me much. In some conditions it can get stronger and disrupt my vision a lot more. There are people who get Visual Snow very suddenly, for those people it’s often very scary, especially when there’s no obvious cause and it just appears between one day and the next. It’s a bit like a tinnitus, just visual. I mean, it’s a sensation that’s just always there somehow and that can’t be treated. When I was in my early 20s, my Visual Snow used to be so bad that I could barely read at all because every time I had a book in front of my eyes those flickering dots were blurring the letters and I absolutely couldn’t concentrate on the text any more, I couldn’t decipher it properly. Then I saw an eye doctor and he checked my eyes, declared me healthy and told me I should just be less perfectionistic and sent me home. Not all people experience Visual Snow constantly like I do it can vary between individuals. It could be associated with neck cramps or bad posture of the head for example when you shift the head forwards like people often to it in front of the computer uhm, you can also experience amplified Visual Snow in connection to circulatory problems I have that too, when my blood pressure is low I hardly see anything. For me it’s also connected to depression, the stronger my depression is the stronger my visual impairment gets. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can really only read with reading glasses because that constant flickering interferes with my vision so much that I can’t discern small details at all. It can also be connected to anxiety which means that it can get stronger when you’re very anxious. For some people it’s also correlated to blood sugar or stress or many other factors. The severity of Visual Snow can also depend on ambience lighting. For exmple for me, high contrast situations cause a significant increase of my Visual Snow, for example if I’m sitting in a dark room and look at a bright screen, then it gets really bad. If I turn a light on in the background it’s already a lot better. Similarly, when I’m sitting in bright light and some areas are lit very brightly and others are covered in hard shadows, my vision gets a lot worse too. This is why I set my apartment up so that I have soft, even lighting. I mean I have several lamps, mostly indirect lighting, they’re all pointing at the ceiling so that the light scatters and doesn’t come all from one point and so I get smaller brightness differences. By doing that I’ve been able to minimize the problem in my own home so it barely bothers me. For doing delicate work where the flickering bothers me a lot because I have to recognize delicate contours, I use reading glasses or a magnifying lens and that way, I get along pretty good. Another thing that can be part of Visual Snow are after images, for example when you look from one point to the other the movement draws streaks or the old picture is superimposed over the new image. Some people get similar problems when they get a migraine, but that has a different cause and not much to do with proper Visual Snow. The recommendation for people who get Visual Snow for the first time is getting a thorough eye exam to make sure their retina and the pressure inside of their eyeballs are alright. But if no cause can be found and there are no neurological impairments of any kind it’s likely to be “real” Visual Snow and at this time, that’s just not treatable. In the following I’ll play around a bit with video editing in order to show those of you who don’t have Visual Snow what that looks like. This flickering is what I see constantly. It never stops, I rarely notice it consciously, I can’t remember if it just started at some point or if it’s always been there and I just live like this. These bright dots appear when it’s very bright or when I’m looking at a very bright area like for example the sky or a lamp. This is actually quite disruptive. Superimposed images can also be a part of Visual Snow. So, I hope this was informative, see you next time!