How to deal with snowy vision caused by anxiety?

This blog answers: How to deal with snowy vision caused by anxiety? What are the biological reasons behind snowy vision due to anxiety? What is Anxiety? What are some ways to manage anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

How to deal with snowy vision caused by anxiety?

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Some of the ways in which to deal with snowy vision due to anxiety:

Consult a psychologist:

If you are experiencing snowy vision due to anxiety, that probably means that your anxiety is severe. Seek immediate help from a clinical psychologist professional with expertise in treating anxiety. Chances are that your snowy vision is only due to your severe anxiety and will go away once your anxiety has been treated. The therapist will help you through powerful therapeutic techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Consult a psychiatrist:

If both your anxiety and snowy vision are severe, you need to see a psychiatrist. Although seeing a psychotherapist is a better option in mild and moderate cases, if your severe anxiety is causing severe snowy vision, you need a psychiatrist who will prescribe you some medications.

The therapist may prescribe you selective-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) or selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medications produce long-lasting effects. You may also use benzodiazepines for short-term relief, but you have to be extremely careful about them because they are addictive.  

 

Consult an ophthalmologist:

There is a chance that the snowy vision you are experiencing is due to some problem in your eyes. Therefore, to see whether your snowy vision is a problem in vision in and of itself or due to anxiety or other conditions, you need to confirm that from an ophthalmologist.

It would be unwise to take antiepileptic drugs or anxiolytics before confirming that the snowy vision is not due to some eye condition.    

Consult a neurologist:

Snowy vision, especially if it is severe, may actually be due to some neurological condition. You might be suffering from what is known as snowy vision syndrome. You need to consult a neurologist in order to confirm whether your snowy vision is due to a neurological abnormality or is it just a side effect of anxiety.

Review and change your lifestyle:

Simple small, and positive changes in your lifestyle can help a great deal in dealing with anxiety and also your snowy vision problem. Keep a healthy diet, prioritize sleep, and exercise regularly. You also need to rest and stay hydrated properly. These lifestyle changes will not only help you deal with your anxiety and snowy vision; they’ll also promote your health in general.

Wear tinted glasses:

You can reduce the intensity of snowy vision and make it somewhat manageable by using tinted glasses. Tinted glasses shade your eyes from the light, which can be momentarily relieving.

Feeling anxious in challenging and threatening situations is quite normal. However, if someone worries all the time excessively, he or she is probably suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can cause changes in visions, for instance, snowy vision. Snowy vision is often described as seeing television static. It’s like their vision is out of tune, and the resolution of their vision has dropped down.

Snowy vision causes a static haze in their vision. They see fuzziness in their visual field and become light-sensitive. People may also report night blindness, floaters, and bright dots moving in their visual field depending on the severity of symptoms.

It is important to understand that changes in vision due to anxiety are not permanent. Also, the snowy vision is not due to some problem in their eyes. The snowy vision is caused by anxiety. Once the anxiety goes away, so does the snowy vision.

What are the biological reasons behind snowy vision due to anxiety?

When light falls on your eyes, it causes your pupils to constrict. When your pupil contract, there is less light that reaches your retina. When you are suffering from anxiety, that’s not the case. Your body activates your sympathetic nervous system in response to anxiety which causes your pupils to dilate.

So now there is more light reaching your retina than normal. This makes your eyes extremely light-sensitive. Due to this, people with snowy vision due to anxiety report blurred vision and see flashes of light. Another reason for snowy vision may be the excess of oxygen in your system.

Hyperventilation occurs during anxiety which leads to elevated blood pressure levels and thereby elevated levels of oxygen. Snowy vision may also occur due to elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline.

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

 What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques

 

Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.

Socialization

 

A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioural therapy

Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy

 

It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.

Medication

Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time

Conclusion:

Although anxiety is primarily a psychological condition, it can result in serious physiological problems. One of such physiological issues is snowy vision. If you are experiencing snowy vision due to anxiety, you need to seek professional help from a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

You also need to confirm whether your snowy vision is actually due to anxiety or is it due to other physiological and neurological problems. You also need to review your lifestyle and make sure it is healthy.

Frequently asked question: How to deal with snowy vision caused by anxiety?

Is snowy vision due to anxiety the same as snowy vision syndrome?

Although snowy vision is largely symptomatically the same as snowy vision syndrome, they have different underlying causes. In snowy vision syndrome, it is due to a neurological problem, while it is the side effect of anxiety in the case of anxiety.

Can snowy vision be caused due to migraines?

Although, in most cases, migraines and snowy vision are distinct conditions, they might co-occur. If snowy vision is due to migraine, it will disappear once migraines have been treated.

Can drug use cause snowy vision?

Snowy vision can occur as a side effect of hallucinogenic drugs, a condition known as Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).

Citations:

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/signs/seeing-spots
https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/anxiety-blurred-vision#anxiety
https://www.optimax.co.uk/blog/what-is-visual-snow/
https://azretina.sites.arizona.edu/node/312

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