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Snowy vision and night blindness after aura

I've been suffering with severe migraines for about 9 years now. This year, the symptoms have changed. A few months ago, I suddenly noticed what looked like visual snow, especially when in a dimly lit room or looking at dark, solid colors. I had a pretty thorough work up by my ophthalmologist who found nothing physically wrong with my eyes, so he and the neuro-opthalmologist he consulted with came to the conclusion it is related to migraine. The visual snow improved, but didn't go away completely.

Yesterday, I had a migraine with head pain and vertigo. During (not before) the migraine, I had two visual auras in a row - the kind with sparkling, zigzag lights that start in the center and grow and move out to the peripheral vision until they disappear. About 8 hours later, I went into a mostly dark room and I couldn't see anything. No shadows or contrasts, like I usually would. It was terrifying. Later, my night vision returned to almost normal, but the snowy vision was worse and continues to be bad today.

Do any of you get snowy vision? I uploaded a photo of what it's like.visual snow

  1. That's a neat image, Mich. Thanks for sharing that with us -- it's so interesting to truly see migraine from someone else's perspective. While we wait to see what others have to say, I'm really glad you got your eyes checked and got a clean bill of health in that area. That would have been my first suggestion. Zigzags are well-documented types of aura. Additionally, I know people on our Facebook page recently shared that they experience sparkling or even "glitter." That doesn't sound too far from the snow you're talking about, but I'm not an expert. Regardless, it sounds frustrating to deal with. Have you found any ways to cope with the perception changes until they pass? Wishing you all the best! -Melissa, migraine.com team

    1. Thank you for your reply, Melissa. The ways I’ve found to cope until it passes is to stay out of dimly lit rooms, unless I’m light sensitive at the time.

      1. I get snowy vision as well! Often when I don't have a migraine. If I wake up in the middle of the night, that's when I'll notice it the most. Once I turn the light on, everything looks fine but it's very strange.

        1. Yes, I also have it even when I don't have a migraine. Right after my last bad migraine, I couldn't see in the dark at all. It was very scary. I should have been able to make out the shapes of the furniture in the room, but I couldn't. Do you have that problem, too?

        2. I have had "night blindness" for a while now. My neurologist and ophthalmologist assure me my eyes are totally fine. So I can only assume it's just another lovely part of being a migraineur.

      2. I have had visual snow permanently for over 20 years. With each attack, the symptoms increase and as an attack subsides, the symptoms become weaker. They never disappear entirely. When I was younger, the symptoms went away completely every time. Incidentally, these are also observations made by Dr. Christoph Schankin from Inselspital Bern. Please google. There is also a comprehensive study somewhere on detectably altered areas of the brain. If you absolutely cannot find it, get in touch, then I'll search again.

        Another source of information is https://www.visualsnowinitiative.org/
        which I personally find rather disappointing.

        On this page there is, among other things, a Visual Snow Simulator
        https://visionsimulations.com/

        This is what my night vision looks like:
        http://VisionSimulations.com/visual-snow.htm?background=night1.jpg&density=0.8&speed=10&grainsize=1.255

        The pictures with more light are in my opinion rather useless. The light sources tend to falsify the result.

        You wrote that you suffered from vertigo the day before. My main ailment is vestibular migraines. As far as I can remember, it is unfortunately not possible to deduce from the study whether there is a connection. But who knows ...

        Keep up!

        1. Thank you so much for this! I looked at all the links. My visual snow doesn't seem to move much, but otherwise looks very similar to yours. It is much more pronounced during and immediately after a migraine attack. I also get night blindness after an attack and loud tinnitus. It seems I went from typical migraine w/o aura to vestibular migraine this summer. Thanks again, it's reassuring to know there are others who experience this also.

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