Visual Snow Syndrome

What is Visual Snow Syndrome?

Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS) is a neurological dysfunction that can affect vision, hearing, cognition, sensory processing, and quality of life. Individuals with visual snow syndrome see snow or static that can appear like flickering dots across the entire visual field. Some describe it as trying to see in the middle of a snowstorm or viewing an old TV screen with static. People with VSS also commonly experience other visual and non-visual symptoms. VSS symptoms affect an estimated 2-3% of the world’s population.

What Are the Symptoms of Visual Snow Syndrome?

The main symptom is seeing visual snow or static that can appear like flickering dots across the entire visual field. Individuals may also experience many other significant symptoms, such as palinopsia (trailing images), photophobia (light sensitivity), night vision issues, tinnitus, balance difficulties, anxiety, depression, and/or insomnia. The intensity, appearance, and degree of these symptoms ranges from mild to severe.

If you or a loved one experience any of the above symptoms, a Neuro-Vision Evaluation conducted by a Neuro Optometrist is the only means of getting a clear and accurate diagnosis. If you’re interested in better understanding the seriousness and severity of the symptoms you or a loved one are experiencing, we encourage you to take our Vision Symptom Quiz.

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What Causes Visual Snow Syndrome?

Individuals with VSS have increased metabolic activity in the areas of the brain that control visual perception and processing. VSS is linked to abnormalities in serotonin and glutamate neurotransmission. The primary cause is sustaining a concussion or traumatic brain injury, however, VSS can occur due to other (sometimes unidentifiable) reasons. Individuals who suffer from migraines are at an increased risk of developing VSS.

How is Visual Snow Syndrome Treated at NVTI?

Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Therapy (NORT) is an individualized vision treatment program targeted to address visual deficits resulting from multiple vision conditions, including neurological disorders like VSS. NORT retrains the neural processes of the brain related to visual performance through the use of a multitude of specialized vision therapy techniques.

Neuro-functional lenses may also be prescribed to alleviate symptoms of VSS. These specialized lenses are examined and prescribed during the initial neuron-vision evaluation. The lenses may include a tint, prism, or plus power to provide higher level brain functioning and symptom relief.


Ciuffreda, KJ, Han, ME, Tannen, B, & Rutner, D. (2021). Visual snow syndrome: evolving neuro-optometric considerations in concussion/mild traumatic brain injury. Concussion (London, England)6(2), CNC89.

Tsang, T, Shidlofsky C, Mora V. (2022). The efficacy of neuro-optometric visual rehabilitation therapy in patients with visual snow syndrome. Front. Neurol, 13.

Ciuffreda, KJ, Runner, D. (2024). Visual Snow Syndrome: The Need For Health Care Advocacy: A View Point. Optometry & Visual Performance, 12(1), 10-12.

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