Can Visual Snow Syndrome Have a Somatic Component Like Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Selah1281, Oct 21, 2020.

    1. Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I developed visual snow about a year before tinnitus. It’s mild at this point in comparison to what it used to be. Lots of floaters, static on dark backgrounds.

      I have a somatic element to my tinnitus. It can be modulated by various movements.

      I have one bad spot on the right side of my neck. I tend to lean my head slightly to this side. I probably have for years. It’s tight and tender regularly. If I cock my head to the left side to stretch the right side of my neck I get the most significant modulation of my tinnitus. It’s reproducible every time and is specific to a single one of my tones that only occurs in my right ear.

      I’ve also noticed when I turn my head to the right side to look over my shoulder when crossing the street or something, I often get color flashes in my eyes. Like green, blue, pink splotches basically. This isn’t always reproducible, but it happens enough for me to not write it off as a fluke thing. It’s always brief and only while turning my neck.

      Does anyone else experience a somatic component to their VSS?
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
      • Informative Informative x 1
    2. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Does your visual snow normally contain the "color splotches" versus just the static? I'm wondering if it's an artifact of some kind of vascular or nerve temporary impingement. Otherwise, a truly somatic VS is interesting and I haven't heard of that before.

      It was nice to read that your VS faded over time. How long did your VS take to fade to mild and did it correspond to any changes in your tinnitus?
       
    3. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      That would be the optic nerve receiving a blood pressure response from the carotid artery when turning head. Very involved: If one had whiplash or bad posture causing degeneration within neck and then later has an episode of raising blood pressure while turning head from excitement, the carotid artery will narrow where it's easier for atherosclerosis to develop. This can cause color flashes including green, blue, pink most often in the corners of the eyes. Monitor blood pressure.
       
    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      My visual snow came about in what I would call an atypical way to what I usually read. I experimented with using Tergitol to clean my vinyl collection since it’s what the Library of Congress uses. Stupidly, I did this in my music studio space at my house where I had sound absorption sheets covering my windows. So it was not well ventilated. I had used an enzyme cleaner prior to this with no issues and when I switched it just didn’t click that this chemical obviously needed to be handled differently.

      I only cleaned a couple records a night and only used it for a few days, but the fumes irritated my eyes one night and I think I got a little of the chemical in my eyes. I flushed my eyes for a lengthy period of time, immediately threw away the Tergitol and flushed it from my record cleaning machine and cleaning supplies, but the damage was done.

      My eyes got severely dried out. They stayed that way for probably 8 months. I was using Refresh Mega-3 preservative free eyedrops like 2-3 full tubes daily to keep my eyes moist. I also used a rice filled face mask twice a day to try and get my Meibomian glands unclogged. I had to stop wearing soft contact lenses as my eyes could no longer tolerate them. I hadn’t worn glasses other than at night to go to the bathroom or something in 21 years. My eye doctor put me on antibiotics for awhile due to blepharitis, but while they helped with the blepharitis they dried my eyes out even more for over a month after cessation. I actually ended up doing two courses of the antibiotics at different times during this timeframe.

      My visual acuity was quite reduced in general during this time and my night vision was so bad I wasn’t able to drive at night period. I couldn’t look at screens for long because it would hurt my eyes and the sun really bothered me. So I’d have to wear sunglasses everywhere and computer glasses just to look at my phone even briefly. I began noticing lots of floaters, constant static (mild to low end of moderate, not severe though), negative after images and the color blotches I referenced in my first post. The worst though was that in a pitch black room I literally saw almost no darkness, it was all flashes of light constantly. I’d sleep with the lights on in the room to try and detract from the flashes of constant light I saw when my eyes were closed. I still have flashes when I close my eyes, but they are nowhere near as bad as they were during this time.

      I bought a pair of scleral contacts in order to be able to wear contacts again. They also helped with keeping my eyes hydrated. They honestly make the floaters more tolerable as they seem to roll across my field of vision smoother than when I’m wearing glasses.

      My night vision isn’t great now, but I am almost 40. Still I had no issues with driving whatsoever until this all happened. My eyes can still get pretty dry sometimes, but mostly when I wear glasses because I don’t want to deal with the laborious process of putting in my scleral contacts. I don’t have any negative after images anymore. I hate my floaters just like everyone else, but since tinnitus, hyperacusis & TTTS they’ve taken a back seat. If I’m looking at screens now sometimes I’ll see blotches here and there, but it’s not noticeable otherwise. So I guess it was like a year to get to a better place VSS wise.
      Sorry, forgot to address this.

      I didn’t have tinnitus during most of that time when the VSS was at its worst. Literally, the day I ordered my scleral contacts was the day my tinnitus “turned on” permanently. I say this because one single night for a period of only a few seconds, probably 6 months prior, my tinnitus “turned on”, but I didn’t know what was happening. I thought I had an auditory hallucination or something.

      I was dealing with my vision issues and during this same time my wife had decided she wanted a divorce. We were still living together, but I was sleeping in the basement in my studio and we only interacted in situations involving our children. I was laying on my futon just miserably depressed and suddenly I heard a loud suctioning sound like a vacuum in my left ear and another strange tone in my right ear. They were both very loud and brief. No building up in volume or anything. Just sudden loud noise and then it stopped. I jumped up off the futon looking around because I didn’t know what the hell was happening. When I couldn’t figure it out and it didn’t reoccur, I eventually disregarded it. Prior to this I had only experienced the mild threshold shift with low ringing type of tinnitus that accompanied going to a concert.

      When my tinnitus “turned on” permanently I was driving and it was just sudden in my left ear. It was a loud ringing, but recognizable as tinnitus to me. After about two weeks with constant tinnitus I had an instance where I heard the same tone in one ear and suction noise in the other for a bit. That made me put two and two together and realize what had happened back then was tinnitus.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I definitely have bad posture. I did have whiplash as a kid in like 3rd or 4th grade from a head on collision that totaled my mother’s car. Had issues from it into high school. I then also had an episode where I slept on a cot and woke up with a horrible crick in my neck in the exact spot where I have the tightness and tenderness. I held my head to that side from the crick for days. I don’t get the flashes if I turn my head to the left so that’s why I was curious if it was somatic related. I’ll check my blood pressure. Thanks for the response.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Sorry to hear of all your trials :(.

      I also had VS before my tinnitus and I think we are in the minority.

      I had to sleep with the light on for months too due to the strobe light like effects. It faded into mild, then got much worse again after trying a peptide (BPC-157) for tinnitus. I hope eventually I can get a second fading.
       
      • Hug Hug x 5
    7. GBB

      GBB Member

      Location:
      NYC
      Tinnitus Since:
      2016-2019 (Mild, Cured) 8/2020 (Severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Microsuction / Additional Acoustic Trauma in Close Proximity
      I've said this before so pardon my repetition, but Nortriptyline resolved my (minor) VSS. That's not an endorsement for anyone else, just another data point to add.
       
    8. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      I wish I could try something like that but I'm a CYP2D6 poor metabolizer and I would be afraid of the side effects (as I had bad side effects to two different antidepressants immediately).
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    9. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      With me, somatic dental whiplash had no noticeable affect on my eyesight other than instant night blindness and use of chemicals made my eyes water. Never had this problem before. Later from physical whiplash problems, I had a (brief) near hypertension crisis. This caused my retina to detach where I had instant floaters. The retina is now mostly fine from 30 seconds of laser treatment and I only see colored floaters on occasion in dark.

      The hypertension crisis caused plaque to build in my carotid artery (pulsatile tinnitus) which caused optic nerve damage where I have severe eye pain.

      Idiot me, knew about what caused all my problems before they happened.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    10. Greg Sacramento

      Greg Sacramento Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      April 2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      syringing and now somatic T dental work
      I been to several eye specialists, but my neuro eye specialist was concerned since I had a hypertension near crisis, tinnitus, somatic tinnitus, pulsatile tinnitus, and whiplash. He wanted a blood pressure study, scans of neck including veins and arteries, carotid examination and a MRA/CTA head exam. He also told me to stop intake of foods with vitamin A.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you. You’ve dealt with much more than I have and been much more resilient. All while helping so many on this forum to get a better grasp on all the research being done and offering insight on their issues. I hope you know you are truly appreciated here.
      Is it common to have the flashing strobe light effect with VSS? I hadn’t read any accounts of it and attributed it to the chemical. I’m sorry to hear yours has worsened again. It’s such a minefield trying to help these problems when you never know if something is going to cause a permanent worsening or add another problem to your plate.
       
    12. FGG
      No Mood

      FGG Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Multi-factorial
      Thank you for your kind words.

      I have no idea how common the strobing is but that was my very first VS symptom. It felt like I was in a haunted house (which I used to love but I didn't want to live in one!).

      Mine started with Doxycycline use so I think maybe ototoxicity might present differently than other VS causes? As bad as my VS is again now I never got bad strobing again after the initial few months and I do sleep in the dark again.

      A *different* high dose antibiotic caused my hearing loss and maybe I could have avoided that if I had made the connection to the Doxycycline at the time.
       
    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Selah1281

      Selah1281 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      You, like @FGG, are amazingly resilient. Dealing with so much while still helping so many here. Taking time to look at our scans, helping address our medical questions etc.

      I really wish there was something I had to offer you in return other than virtual hugs and kind words.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1

Share This Page

Loading...