Visual Snow - New article

Visual snow or visual static is transitory or persisting visual symptom where people see snow or television-like static in parts or the whole of their visual fields, constantly in all light conditions even visible in day-light. There is no available treatment medically but we think there may be some connection to TMJ Dysfunction

Visual Snow - New article

Postby » Mon, 31 May 2021, 2:55 pm

Visual Snow
I published my hypothesis for the proper treatment of "Visual Snow" in 2015. I am pleased to say that it appears that I have been correct and a number of patients have recovered from this "incurable" illness through the correction of their jaw asymmetries as hypothesised.
By Dr M. Amir

Visual snow is a transitory or persisting visual symptom where people see snow or television-like static in parts or the whole of their visual fields, 24/7 that is everywhere and in all lighting conditions. It is a persistent disturbance in the entire visual field resembling the static of an analogue TV set. A large proportion of 'Visual Snow' patients also have bilateral continuous tinnitus.
VS.PNG (138.79 KiB) Viewed 2 times
The severity or density of the "snow" differs from one person to the next; in some circumstances, it can inhibit a person's daily life, making it difficult to read, see in detail and focus correctly. It can be extremely debilitating in others. You can get a good idea from this link and perhaps can use it to ascertain your exact scores in different lighting conditions.

No cause for visual snow has been identified, and anecdotal reports point to a multitude of associated conditions, possibly rendering it a non-specific symptom. Sufferers of visual snow have undergone ophthalmic, neurological and psychiatric examinations but according to reports "no systematic problems besides the visual snow have been identified" and hence no treatment is available.

I came across such a patient and noted that she had terrible neck pain, IBS and jaw asymmetry. We started treatment with little resolution of the symptoms in the early stages but her IBS started resolving. Gradually her neck started improving and the visual snow symptoms started abating a little. The patient did not see any improvement until she lost her dental appliance when she realized that her ‘Visual Snow’ deteriorated rapidly to the original state. On restarting the appliance the 'visual snow' symptoms again subsided slightly as before.

What could be the explanation?

Correcting the jaw improves the neck muscles. Some deep muscles in the middle of the base of the head play an intimate role in proper eye function. The deepest layers of muscles (the suboccipital "star") are crucial and have the highest number of stretch receptors. Their connection, from, eye movements to coordination of the rest of the back musculature, is remarkable.

These muscles have been shown to have 36 muscle spindles/gram of muscle tissue. The gluteus maximus, by comparison, has 0.7 spindles/gram. That is a 50-fold difference. There has to be a very good reason for this.

Neck and back muscles

To feel the connection of these muscles at the back base of the head to eye movements, I NEED THE SUFFERERS OF VS TO DISCOVER THIS REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE.

Put your hands up on either side of your head with your thumbs just under your mid-occiput pushing as deep as you can at the back middle of the head. Try and feel past the superficial muscles to get to the deep ones under the occipital ridge.

Close your eyes and then turn your eyes to the right and left while your other fingers keep your head from moving. You will feel those little muscles changing tonus under your thumbs even though your head is not moving. These little primary muscles are responding to your eye movements. This is an amazing external muscle connection to the teeth.

Look up and down and you will feel other muscles within this set engage in a similar way. Try to move your eyes without these muscles moving and you will find that it is impossible. They are so fundamentally connected that any eye movement will produce a change in tonus in these sub occipitals.

What do we conclude from this?
It appears that the hearing and vision senses are intimately affected by the state of these deep suboccipital muscles. A disturbance in the muscle tone at the base of the mid occiput appears to upset the ocular and auditory pathways causing in some the effect perceived as 'Visual Snow'.
The disturnance in these muscle groups have nemerous PHYSICAL causes:
    An asymmetry of the jaws;
    Poor occlusion orthodontically;
    Extraction orthodontics;
    The extraction of wisdom teeth.

Further, disturbances can arise through neck injuries or other accidents impacting the neck and head region.

In many patients 'tinnitus' is a frequent accompaniment.

The picture also shows how the back spinal muscles are literally suspended from the areas controlled by the suboccipital muscles. We have repeatedly seen how correcting the Atlas vertebrae immediately corrects the asymmetric hips most people suffer from - also known as the short leg phenomenon.

The tension in these muscles is also the cause of most headaches and migraines.

The way these muscles interact with the eyes is exemplified by a falling cat which always lands on its feet.When a cat finds itself in the air, it uses its eyes and inner ear to orient its head horizontally. This puts certain tensions into these suboccipital muscles, which the brain "reads" from the stretch receptors. Based on this reading the brain "unwinds" the spinal muscles to organize the entire spine from the neck down, so that the cat's feet are under it before it ever hits the carpet.

Apart from improving the jaw asymmetry and bringing about Cranio-dental symmetry to resolve the tension in the suboccipital muscles it is also advantageous to have a little bit of daily suboccipital release which can easily be accomplished by visiting an alternative practitioner.

A patient wrote on the internet:

“I've had visual snow for as long as I can remember............ I only occasionally get tinnitus; not ringing but more like I'm a mile away from a rock show. Sometimes I still look around wondering "Where is that music coming from?!" only to realize I'm the only one vaguely hearing it.............. I was studying massage therapy and was getting a head/neck massage from one of the 2nd year students. She worked on the muscles in my neck then did a sub-occipital release. Your sub-occipital muscles are literally the muscles that move your eyes, and "releasing" them is just literally stretching them out causing them to relax.

I don't know if it worked right away. However, I do remember going outside to catch the bus home. It was the night... and I just looked around, totally amazed. No snow in the darkness! The headlights of the cars and the street lights didn't have monstrous halos!”

Another patient replies:

"I am suffering from muscle tension every day and I do get that feeling like when you hold your breath and try to make your head red (pressure type feeling) that is actually just caused by blood that isn't flowing through enough...
I suffer from very heavy VS. Can't go outside to do anything anymore without getting back with a headache that lasts for days! all I can do is relax at started with pain in my neck my VS increased like 80% "

Another comment by a reader:

I saw an ophthalmologist a year or so ago who had spent 5 years researching visual disturbances. He said he'd met people who had similar problems to me with the things moving when they're not, jumping vision, colours not being right, flashing, blind spots, halos, strobes, and bright colours when you've got your eyes shut. Anyway, he said they'd never found a cause but noted the similarity in other apparent symptoms and patient history, for example, previous head injury, non-binocular vision, fatigue, IBS, dizziness, tinnitus, and headaches.

What does this all mean?

What I deduce from extensive studies and experience with just one patient is that 'Visual Snow' is not an isolated symptom. It is part of a broader picture where patients suffer from a host of other symptoms like neck pain, fatigue, IBS, tinnitus, other ear problems, headaches, and migraines all caused by bodily asymmetries. It appears that the neck in these patients is more seriously damaged through injury and/or Craniodental dysfunction. All these accompanying symptoms are very amenable to treatment. It should, therefore, be possible to bring about a resolution of 'Visual Snow' symptoms. If I had sufficient patients I could probably get results very fast in a small percentage instead of 'No cure' at present for this condition.


My patient certainly has a history of illness with a number of symptoms starting at age 10. I shall put up a graphical representation soon. I suspect that in other patients VS is not a sudden onset and a culmination of a long process with many other symptoms present. Completing our questionnaire will go a long way to find a solution for your VS.

Christmas post from my first 'Visual Snow' patient:

"Thanks for all your help and support over the past year. This time last year I would not have been able to write this card"

New inquiries from patients appear to confirm my contentions:

1) "I have suffered from TMJ for many years, perhaps since I was as young as twelve, but around 4 years ago my symptoms became much worse. Seemingly all at once, I got tinnitus in both ears, a type of "brain fog", and visual snow. At the time I had no idea what was happening to me, and I didn't know any terminology. I thought I was going mad! My visual snow relaxed after 4 months, but my tinnitus carried on as well as having serious TMJ problems. Recently, my visual snow has returned, making life very difficult."

2) "The fact that I have visual snow, extreme jaw pressure, neck tightness etc and a history of high impact sports that were on my neck/ back, poor posture, dreams of extreme jaw-grinding is giving me high suspicions that I may have uncovered something [in your article] here. "

3) "I, seemingly, suddenly developed trouble with my vision. Initially, I could not focus on print on a page or the computer screen. This would cause me to get headaches, earache, and suboccipital pain. At the same time, I noticed that I was getting static-like flashing in my vision, most notably in the dark. From this, I found out about Visual Snow from the internet.
For the past month, my headaches haven't been constant. The earache is still present, but less severe, and my jaw is not as achy but feels a bit tight."

4) "I am now experiencing the onset of Visual Snow - an absolutely horrible condition and my anxiety has really returned. It's affecting my work dramatically and is now at the point where I can't read properly.

I noticed a slight shimmering effect about a year ago and 5 months ago it has steadily increased into full-blown Visual Snow.

I've always felt my jaw was not right since being punched as a teenager. Often feeling tight.. making severe squelching or crunching sounds... tinnitus began about 3 years ago and seems very linked to my Visual Snow. Tinnitus also louder in the right ear and louder still when I open my jaw.

My neck has become so tight that often I cannot sleep properly without holding it folded back in the most unnatural position. I have always had posture problems (i think I have a bit of a forward neck position) but this neck problem has really gotten worse the past couple of years." [This patient also has about 35 other symptoms around the body]

5) "I got visual snow after a snowboarding/whiplash fall that resulted in a neck injury and possible jaw misalignment."

6) I am 25. My VS was very minor at first and I could only notice it if I was looking at the blue sky or the night sky and it really did not impede my daily life in any way. Since then it has progressed into a major part of my life. The static now is much thicker and more pronounced and is everywhere all the time. It is never not there, not even when I close my eyes. Furthermore, I have developed floaters in my eyes that are extremely impeding on my daily activities. The tinnitus has begun as well, coming and going periodically; sometimes faint and non-bothersome and other times ear piercing and frightening. My vision is also very jumpy constantly. I have been in and out of doctor's appointments since this began nine months ago and no one seems to even believe me, let alone have heard of VS. I have seen an optometrist who determined I have 20-20 vision and no floaters. I have seen a neural ophthalmologist who determined the same. I have seen a neurologist who found nothing, an MRI on my brain that showed everything was normal. I have seen my primary care physician so many times I could rent a room there. All of these doctors work in Boston's best hospitals and medical facilities and only one had even heard of VS but was not well versed in it whatsoever. I came across your article on positive health online this morning which outlines your experience with a patient with VS and your methods of resolving it. This is the first I have read of someone even being able to reduce symptoms.
See more at Positive Health Magazine

I am also aware that patients with migraines develop an aura which looks similar to visual snow. I feel that since all the other symptoms are amenable to treatment through Jaw and Atlas correction it should be possible to resolve the symptoms of Visual Snow also.

13th February 2021
Here is a graph of the symptoms presented by 59 of our"Visual Snow' patients who completed our questionnaire over some 10 years.

VS Graph

This graph confirms my original contention that there is more to this ‘VS’ symptom and it cannot possibly be treated in isolation as can many other symptoms listed in the graph.

All these accompanying symptoms are very amenable to symmetry treatment. It should, therefore, be possible to bring about a resolution of 'Visual Snow' symptoms.

24th August 2018
Google review:
Alan Faulconbridge

Before visiting Dr Amir, I had experienced terrible migraine and migraine visual aura along with a rare unknown condition known as visual snow syndrome. After finding out that my jaw was not correctly aligned and was causing lots of tension around my neck muscles I decided to undergo Amir's treatment. After a few weeks into treatment with a removable brace, the migraines and visual aura associated with migraine stopped completely. The visual snow and its symptoms also reduced around 50% - 70% over time and while it's still there to some minor degree, its minor enough for my brain to ignore it and forget its presence. I fully recommend visiting Dr Amir as his treatment approach is unique unlike any other.
January 2020: Alan reports that he has very slight symptoms of 'Visual Snow' left which he can easily ignore. He has also recovered completely from his migraines.

Reviewed February 2021
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