Introducing Liz, our next #WarriorOfTheWeek! Hear her journey on how she discovered the term for her “sparkle vision” and what she’s up to now. ✨

Spotlight on: Liz Brent-Maldonado 📚

“I’ve had visual snow syndrome my whole life. I remember talking to my mom about it when I was 8 or 9 and realizing that I was seeing things that no one else was seeing (constant sparkle static, extra glow around everything, after images, and stars-times-a-billion between the real stars in the night sky). She encouraged me to talk to our eye doctor about it, but he thought I was talking about floaters and dismissed it. I always hoped it was a superpower, but spent a lot of my life ignoring it in order to just live my life. I never told anyone about it except the occasional significant other.

I was always afraid that if I talked about it with doctors or scientists, I would be told I was losing my mind or I would end up locked up in a hospital or lab (I realize this is extreme, but I watched a lot of science fiction movies and tv shows!). In 2016, I ran across the term “Tetrachromatic Vision” and thought that maybe that was what I had. That discovery inspired a long process of facing my fears, reaching out to scientists, doing research on my own, getting a new series of ophthalmology tests, and writing about my experiences.

In 2018, I ran across the term Visual Snow Syndrome and realized that this was a better match for my experience. I’m currently writing a book about my investigative journey and living with what I still call my “sparkle vision.” And for the first time ever this year, I was able to share the visual snow diagnostic criteria (thank you Visual Snow Initiative) with my primary care provider! I’ve overcome a lot of fear and doubt to be able to talk to everyone from medical professionals to friends about my experience. My dream is to publish my book, help others who experience visual snow, and bring awareness to neurodiversity.”

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