Do you experience visual snow? It’s as if you are looking at the world through the static or “snow” on a TV set. Some people experience it all the time. I never see visual snow outside in bright light, but I think I do experience it sometimes when looking at a blank wall, especially in dim light. So, in the last two days, I’ve been experimenting with this phenomenon.
Yesterday, I woke up before dawn. When I opened my eyes in the dim light, visual snow appeared everywhere, looking like little sparkles dancing in mid-air. I got out of bed and headed downstairs in the very dim light. When I got to the kitchen, I switched on the light. Bam! Suddenly, the room was filled with light, and it took me a few moments to adjust. In the light, I saw everything clearly, without a trace of visual snow. Curious, I turned the light off. Would the visual snow reappear? It did not, at least not initially. I saw inky blackness, though, over the next minute or so, the visual snow began to re-emerge and grow stronger. This made me wonder if the visual snow originated in my retina or deeper in my brain.
So this morning, I woke up again before dawn, opened my eyes, and saw intense visual snow. Again, I made my way, in the dim, predawn light, down to the kitchen and made sure that I saw visual snow through either eye. Then, before turning on the kitchen light, I closed one eye hard and put my hand over that eye. On went the light. I could see the room clearly through the open eye with only a hint of visual snow. I turned off the light again and looked around with the one open eye. The visual snow was gone. Then I closed that eye and opened the other one. Through the previously closed eye, the one that had not been exposed to the bright light, I saw plenty of visual snow.