Meet Darren, our next #WarriorOfTheWeek, & hear his #VSS story! πŸ’ͺ

Spotlight on: Darren Mooten πŸ”Έ

β€œHey everyone, I’m Darren, 33 years old. I’ve faced VSS for over 13 months now, diagnosed by my Neurologist in London 3 months after onset. I had picked up a severe bacterial/throat infection whilst under severe stress due to work & the bacterial infection led to multiple headaches, panic attacks, heart palpitations, tremors etc.. not long after I noticed the VS accompanied by ghosting, floaters, BFEP, light sensitivity & increase in my pre-existing tinnitus.

Over time the light sensitivity diminished & all symptoms have been stable apart from the VS itself which has progressed slowly over 13 months & yet to be stable. All my eye exams/visual electro diagnostic tests came back clear as expected.

My biggest achievement has been achieving numerous feats in my job as a Data Analyst over the past year despite the VS still progressing. I managed this by purchasing FL41 glasses which helps with computer work a lot, told my employers about VS who helped purchase equipment to make screen work far easier i.e. bigger & more screens & persisting on bad days to ensure my brain habituated to the snow to ensure I got tasks completed.

I also recommend daily meditation, regular long distance walks & hobbies to keep you distracted as much as possible.

Whilst VSS can be a life changing condition be it the visual or non visual symptoms, my best advice is be open about your condition to friends & family. A support network is crucial especially for mental health. Try to get a clinical diagnosis as the more official numbers we have the more VSS can be taken seriously. See if your employer can accommodate changes to your job depending on your symptoms & severity. Be hopeful as I’ve been in close contact with plenty of researchers & hopefully the VSS pathology can be defined & treatments working for all VSers in the near future. You can achieve your dreams despite this condition!”

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