Vision problems are a common sign of a brain injury. If you have recently noticed flickering dots resembling television static disrupting your field of vision, you may have a condition called visual snow syndrome.
While some cases of visual snow syndrome are mild, some cases can seriously impair your vision and prevent you from doing daily activities.
What are the symptoms?
Visual snow consists of a pattern of flickering dots across the entire field of vision. A doctor may diagnose you with visual snow syndrome If visual snow persists for three months or more and you have any of the following symptoms:
- Entoptic phenomena, such as floaters
- Night vision impairment
- Sensitivity to light
Your doctor may order tests to rule out other conditions, such as migraines.
Can a brain injury cause visual snow syndrome?
Although the exact cause of visual snow syndrome remains unknown, experts believe it originates in the visual processing center of the brain. Even a mild head injury can cause symptoms of visual snow syndrome. Disrupted vision can also signify a more serious head injury, so it is important to seek medical attention if you experience visual snow symptoms.
Is visual snow syndrome a permanent disability?
The severity of the syndrome varies widely from person to person. Some people’s symptoms are so mild that they learn to ignore them, while others experience debilitating symptoms that prevent them from performing everyday tasks, such as driving.
There is no cure for visual snow syndrome. However, the condition is generally not progressive, and treatment can help you manage your symptoms.
If you have recently suffered a head injury, you should report any changes in your vision to your doctor right away.