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I have visual and neuro-visual problems that have all sorts of top docs mystified. I thought I would share with you for no other reason that getting it out into the open for discussion.

It starts in the morning when I wake up. There is ambient morning light in the bedroom but I cannot make out the walls or the corners of the room due to my constant visual snow (also called visual static). It is exceptionally bad upon waking. I cannot make out the fan above the bed in a somewhat lit room. Then I get up and walk around and I see flashing snow EVERYWHERE I look. When I close my eyes I see bright snow (not falling snow but like looking at an old black and white TV that isnít getting a signal or one of those snow globes right after you shake it). The snow is always there, day or night, and it is very bright.

When I go outside, the numerous reflections from sunlight burn my eyes like an acetylene torch. IMPORTANT - You donít notice all the reflections with normal eyes-. I wear the darkest sunglasses I can buy but the reflection is still too bright. When I drive itís a nightmare. If I get a reflection from license plate or a side view mirror it can be debilitating. Not only is it bright but it immediately burns into my eyes, leaving a dark spot in my vision for a minute or so. I am at the point where I will need to wear welderís goggles to go outside.

The burn-in is technically called Palinopsia. We all have it to a small extent when you look at a bright object and it burns onto your eyes for a few seconds. My palinopsia is immediate and permanent, with the image and after-image lasting for up to a minute. And I donít have to shut my eyes to see the burn-in. It is there in clear sight. So if I look around a room slowly all the images are burned into my eyes so what I see is a conglomerate of distortion. So basically everything burns into my eyes. If you were to put a collection of items on a window sill and I was to blink so quickly that I didnít actually see the objects, I could read out the objects from my burn-in, itís so accurate.

I also have phosphenes, or what are sometimes called closed eye hallucinations/visuals. Itís like seeing the northern lights on your eyes when you shut them, like when trying to sleep. I see them when I come in from the bright into dark. I can see them with eyes open or shut. At night, when I am trying to sleep they show up and prevent me from sleeping or staying asleep. Itís like wave after wave of bright lights splashing across my field of view.

When I go to bed at night I leave the door open to allow some light in from another room. I still cannot see things properly even with this ambient light. Everything is a mess. I cannot make out objects or edges of walls, etc. When I close my eyes the visual snow is all I see.

I also have tinnitus which is a constant ringing in the ears. I donít usually hear it during the day but it is very noticeable at night when trying to sleep. My ears ache like they have been listening to loud music all day. It never goes away.

Going outside is a nightmare because no matter what time of day it is it always looks like it is sundown. All I see are the shadows and darkness. During a bright day all I see is the clouds (white) and the shadows (black). I see other colors fine, but they arenít as noticeable.

As well, I see starbursts and halos around lights. Halogen headlights are the worse. The starbursts are so big that they conceal the entire vehicle. I see them around and source of light, indoors or out. It is a nightmare. LED lights also are distorted with starburst patterns. It's like I had a botched LASIK surgery, but I haven't.

The constant snow keeps me from seeing solid colors properly. Walls are always flashing and I can never make out edges.

My eyes donít seem to focus together properly. The only thing the doctors have successfully diagnosed is that my left eye is presbyopic and required a contact lens. My right does not. This lens aggravates the starbursts and halos because it dries out and distorts more than the healthy eye.

I also have really bad tracers. Like when you move a bright light around in the dark you can make out a trace. Mine is continuous and happens day or night. When at a traffic light, looking straight ahead, the traffic that moves across my field of vision leaves a long trace. Itís horrible. It also happens in the usual dark settings as well with a bright source of light.

When typing this document, the bright computer screen is burned into my eyes when I close them. The image flashes in the darkness and slowly fades back to the visual snow. Bright objects seem to have negative after image but dark objects also burn into my eyes. The black frame around the computer screen and black keyboard burn in as well. I almost think this is due to the constant visual snow signal in my brain. It reacts with the light signal coming from my eyes and forms this after image.

For whatever reason, I can see ok outdoors at night. There must be enough direct background light so that I can see through the visual snow.

Sorry it's so long. I may not have done a good job at actually describing my problems. They are absolutely debilitating.





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