Visual snow refers to the way that a snowflake looks when it’s magnified. It’s a visual illusion that can be upsetting, but it’s not always dangerous.
In some cases, it can be a result of brain injury or neurological conditions like migraines.
What causes visual snow?
Visual snow is usually caused by brain injury or a neurological condition called migraines.
In migraines, a severe headache causes the brain to send electrical signals to your visual cortex. This area of the brain is responsible for processing visual information.
The signals from the brain are so strong that your brain can’t tell the difference between real and fake images.
Visual snow can also be caused by:
- Eye diseases, like cataracts and macular degeneration
- Eye injuries, like a cataract surgery
- Head injuries
- Migraine attacks
- Migraines that cause visual disturbances
- Migraine-induced syncope
- Medications that cause visual disturbances
How to treat visual snow?
If you’re experiencing visual snow, you can try these tips to help your brain see the right images.
Talk with your doctor
If you’ve recently had a head injury or migraine attack, it’s important to speak with a doctor. They’ll be able to help guide you through your treatment options.
If you have migraines, you may not experience visual snow as frequently as someone without migraines, but it’s still a possible side effect.
To help your eyes see the right images, you can try these eye exercises.
Visual snow can also be caused by conditions that affect your eyes, such as:
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal detachment
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Diabetic macular edema
Eye exercises can help you focus on your eyes and avoid visual snow.
If you have eye problems, you can work with your eye doctor to find ways to help you avoid visual snow.
Visual imagery is a type of meditation that can help your brain see the right images. It’s a type of internal visualization that helps you relax.
To try visual imagery, focus on something that helps you relax. Then, imagine yourself looking at this object. This can help you relax and concentrate on the object.
Visual imagery can be done before you go to sleep or during your lunch break. For best results, you can do this exercise several times per day.
Visual snow diet
As previously mentioned, visual snow can be caused by migraines and head injuries.
You may be able to prevent visual snow by avoiding triggers that cause you to see fake images. This may include:
- Certain foods, like chocolate, nuts, and fatty foods
- Prolonged exposure to bright lights
- Exposure to bright screens
If you’re experiencing visual snow, you can try these tips to help you avoid triggers and prevent it from happening:
- Keep your room dark and rest your eyes.
- Use blackout curtains to keep the outside light from entering your room and triggering visual snow.
- Try using a black-and-white television or computer screen.
- Avoid looking at direct sunlight, which can trigger a migraine.
- Avoid screens that are too bright.
- Use anti-glare glasses to help your eyes see the right images.
- Avoid using digital devices and use a light box to help reduce glare on screens.
- Reduce or stop using over-the-counter medications.
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors.
- Use sunglasses when you’re driving.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV radiation.
- Use a blackout curtain to shield your eyes from sunlight.
- Avoid looking at bright screens.
- Avoid using digital devices and use a light box to reduce glare on screens.
- Wear sunglasses when you’re outdoors.
If you aren’t experiencing visual snow, you can try these tips to help you relax and concentrate on the object:
- Focus on a nearby object or a favorite person.
- Imagine the object you’re focusing on as having a special quality or a special feeling.
- Imagine the object as a beautiful place.
- Imagine you’re in a tranquil, beautiful place.
When to see a doctor?
If you have visual snow, you should see your doctor to determine if it’s a result of a head injury or migraine.
They’ll be able to diagnose the cause of your visual snow and recommend the best treatment options for you.
What is the outlook for visual snow?
Visual snow can be a sign of a serious health condition, so it’s important to see your doctor for an official diagnosis.
If not treated, visual snow can cause you to see fake images. This can affect your vision and result in a reduced quality of life.
If you’re experiencing visual snow, you can try these tips to help you get rid of it.
If you have visual snow, your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause and recommend the best treatment options for you.
What’s the outlook for migraines?
Migraines are often caused by a combination of things, including:
If you’re experiencing migraines, the most important thing you can do is take care of yourself.
You can take any number of steps to help control your migraines. These include:
- Taking medications as prescribed.
- Eating a healthy diet.
- Exercising, if possible.
- Avoiding substances that trigger migraines.
- Finding ways to relax, such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga.
- Making time for your friends and loved ones.
- Being patient with yourself.
- Getting plenty of sleep.
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
- Drinking water throughout the day.
The bottom line
Visual snow is a type of visual hallucination that can cause you to see the wrong images.
While visual snow is related to migraines, it’s not a common symptom of the condition.
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