What does the world look like through your eyes?

Image Credit: Tardis.wikia.com

Image Credit: BBC

When I was young, I used to think that I could see atoms. Reading this you might think that I was just some boy with an active imagination, but all I knew at the time is that I could see something that I really couldn’t explain.

Flash forward about 20 years…..

I obviously realized somewhere along that time that I couldn’t actually see subatomic particles, but instead believed that the unexplained thing I was seeing everywhere was just the way the air looked.

Now I know what you are thinking, and the answer is No, I am not on any drugs haha. But up until recently, I had always thought that the way I visually perceived the world was the same way that everyone else did. It turns out that this whole time I have been wrong.

Let’s try something:

Look up from your computer/tablet for a moment and stare at an object that is in the same room or vicinity that you are in (you must have a clear line of sight with the object you pick, preferably with nothing between you and the object).

Now, without removing your gaze from that same object, try to focus your sight on whatever is “between” the object and yourself. This might sound confusing, but another way to put it is to try and see what might be the “air,” between you and the object.

Do you see anything peculiar?

To most people, this might seem like a waste of time, and no matter how hard they try, they will not see anything unusual. Others might see what it is I am hinting at, but may not know it, because they are used to viewing the world in this way. But a small few who try this exercise will realize exactly what it is I have been referring to so far.

In my case, when I stare across the room at a wall/chair/really anything, and focus on whatever it is that exists between the object and myself, I see faint colored Static. This rare and mysterious visual anomaly is referred to as “Visual Snow.”

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Those affected by Visual Snow may see a number of unexplainable things; Static, moving lights, after-images, halos around light, shadows, dots, streaks of bright colors, etc.…. To those affected by this, closing your eyes won’t turn these symptoms off, but might actually make them more noticeable.

You probably have never heard of Visual Snow. In fact, even most eye doctors have a hard time admitting the existence of it. Patients who have their eyes checked for these anomalies have come to find that there is actually nothing wrong with their eyesight. Very little is known about Visual Snow. There are not even that many results when typing it into Google. This is most likely because those affected by it may go their entire lives not knowing that this isn’t how the world is perceived by everyone else.

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Due to the lack of knowledge about Visual Snow, there is only one charity that is funding a study behind this mysterious phenomenon, The Eye on Vision Foundation. This foundation recognizes that those affected with Visual Snow need a source of information about this condition. So far, research has discovered that individuals affected by it may have other symptoms which they just assume are normal; such as tinnitus, fatigue, attention hyper deficit, depersonalization, and even derealisation. It makes those of us wonder how calm the world must look without all the distractions that Visual Snow brings.

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Currently there is no cure for Visual Snow. It is not known what part of the brain causes it or if more serious symptoms develop with age. That is why it is so important for those who are affected to speak up about it. The more people who come forward with any information and personal experiences with this condition, the better the chance that more doctors will take it seriously and more research can be funded to help.

To become more involved, The Eye on Vision Foundation is conducting a study looking for anyone with personal experience with Visual Snow.

Also, check out this amazing article that sheds a lot of light on this mysterious condition.

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