From Uncertainty to Progress and Hope
Historically, it has been challenging for people with Visual Snow Syndrome (VSS) to receive an accurate diagnosis. Due to its visual symptoms, many people with VSS and their physicians thought their eyes were the origin of the problem. But when referred to optometrists and ophthalmologists (eye doctors), who would test for abnormalities, their results typically came back “normal”. That is because VSS is a sensory processing disorder that originates in the brain, not the eyes.
Neuro-ophthalmologists and neurologists are best equipped to address VSS, including some ophthalmologists and optometrists who are certified in the management/treatment of VSS symptoms. But previously, the condition struggled to gain clinical acceptance. Most physicians had never heard of VSS. Among those who had, some rejected its legitimacy. They insisted that VSS was simply a form of migraine aura (despite VSS patients also experiencing other debilitating visual and non-visual symptoms that were not consistent with migraine aura). Other physicians already knew that VSS was a real, distinct medical condition and wanted to help their patients. But without funding for further research, awareness, education, and treatment options for VSS, solutions would not be possible.
Today, VSS is recognized as a legitimate clinical and scientifically-measurable neurological disorder. Frequency of misdiagnosis has reduced and there is more awareness being generated for VSS than ever before. There is active, global research for VSS. For the first time ever, noninvasive and viable treatment options are available, as well as diagnostic tools and resources. Together, we are making significant progress. See sections below for more information.