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stephsurf

Visual Static/snow Disturbances?

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Hello,

Just wondering if this is common occurrence with POTS - it is thought I have the hyperadrenergic type.

It has become increasingly pronounced and does get worse when my symptoms flare and I am particularly fatigued but I have noticed that since I was diagnosed with POTS I have what I can only describe as a constant visual snow effect almost like the static effect you would get on a tv. It is most visible looking at a blank background but to be honest I see it all the time in my vision these days.

I know visual disturbances are common in those with POTS but just wondering if anybody else gets this? It's still there even if my pulse is normal/laying down.

Would love to hear from others!

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Hi Steph,

I have a ton of visual disturbances... I get a lot of "floaters" or "zig zag's" . I have figured out over the years that a lot of my vision problems can be related to my blood pressure - when I have really high spikes it gets blurry. and when my BP drops it gets how you describe, snowy or grey.

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I've had visual snow for about 6 years now, though I don't know if in my case it is related to my POTS or not since I had it long before my POTS symptoms were very troublesome. Some of my doctors attributed it to migraine rather than POTS but I know there is at least some preliminary research being done by Dr. Peter Goadsbye (might have spelled his last name wrong) up in San Fransisco, and he believes that visual snow is independent of migraine, but I'm not sure what sort of disorders they typcially see it in. Do you also get afterimages? Or trails from moving objects, like from wavaing a hand in front of your face?

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Hi statesof, my doctors attribute Some visual impairments to the aura before the migraine starts. Do you get migraine with or without aura? does that doctor is san Francisco disagree that none of that is related? I've never heard of him.

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I get crazy auras. Sometimes I start out getting really lightheaded, blurry vision and almost like lightning strikes in the corner of my eyes. I get where I cant even read the computer or type when I try to type i know what i want to type but it comes out all gibberish. Then one of my hands go numb and a side of my face and my tongue goes numb. One time a foot went numb too. Then I start getting the headache and nausea. The headache isn't that bad its the auras that are really scary. One time it affected my hands. I remember i was eating dinner then i got the lightheadedness and numbness in my face and hands. Then i thought my blood sugar was low because it was my first scary experience. Then i went to check my blood sugar and when i tried to put the strip in the meter my hand kept missing it and i was struggling to get it in. Then i was at boarding school at the time and i asked if the staff could bring me juice and she handed it to me and it just fell right out of my hand the one that was numb. My auras don't get as bad now since i avoid sodium nitrate. My speech also gets affected with auras. and i noticed that a day or two before my migraines sometimes I get irritable and anxious. Then after my migraine i get wiped out.

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Here's one medical document about the "visual snow" theory vs migraine aura visual phenominon, Dr. Shankin and Goadsby are the only two doctors I know doing some research on the topic: http://brain.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/18/brain.awu050 . There is a number of different disorders I know that are thought to be linked to visual snow or at least visual snow as a symptom is seen with these disorders; they are migraine, a migraine variant called persistent migraine aura without infarction, hppd (hallucinogenic persisten perception disorder), depersonalization disorder, add, and then a number of us also have it. In my case its persistent and really doesnt seem to have anything to do with my migraines (I have migraine with aura) because it is persistent and really doesn't ever change very much, I attribute it to my depersonalization disorder since it is somewhat common with that. Though I read some article about a patient who would only get the visual snow as a pre migraine headache type phenominon, or when her migraines were more of a problem, so it might be different for everyone.

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Funny that I see this topic today, because just last night I woke up extraordinarily dizzy and with the worst snow vision I've ever had. I have the snowstorm static vision constantly. It's hard to remember a time when I didn't have it, except for recently when I was taking Sertraline (Zoloft.) While on Sertraline my snowstorm vision, brain fog, and difficulty concentrating all went away— unfortunately I started having Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome (I have a recent post about it) and had to stop. Anyways, about the snowstorm vision— sometimes it is worse than others. Often it's worse when I'm having pre-syncopy and sometimes when I am going to completely black out, the snowstorm effect worsens until I cannot see at all, and then I black out. Not always, though.

I'm sure that the snowstorm effect got worse when my POTS did, but I might've had it before then, too. Honestly, I'm not sure. I get migraines without aura (at least I've never noticed one) and it doesn't seem related. I also have this weird thing where, when I sit up/change position too quickly and/or when I'm waking up, I get a white "light" that travels up the corner of my eye then disappears at the top. I also get a lot of floaters and zig-zags like SarahA33 mentioned.

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I've had visual snow for 13 years, it came on when all my other symptoms started (including depersonalisation/derealisation which has also been mentioned). It doesn't really vary, it's always there and pretty much the same. It was only a few years ago I found out there were other people with it, before that it was a (fairly unnerving) mystery to me.

I also get migraines (with aura, atypical ones etc.) but not as often as my father and sister which seems weird considering they're both very well and I seem to have a variety of issues.

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I know I'm late to this topic, but wanted to say thanks for sharing your experiences…its always reassuring to know other POTS folk understand. Statesof, I get those trails…had never heard anyone else mention or describe them before. Other than one incident of migraine aura, haven’t had migraines (as far as I know anyway), so always assumed mine has something to do with the POTS. Also seems to hit most when the POTS is being difficult, can happen anywhere from hours to weeks at a time, then eases up again for awhile. I’ve never understood why it happens or how it fits in with everything else though…it started a couple years after POTS began and never went away entirely again.

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