Some kind of moving "grain" or flickering or snow to my vision
Hi, thanks in advance for anyone that replies. Here's my problem/story
I'm 34. A couple weeks ago I woke up one day and after about ten to twenty minutes of being awake I noticed some weird little mark in my vision. It was almost like a little fleck of distortion or something, it's hard to describe. It seemed to be in both eyes although I only tested that aspect of it for a couple minutes. I have never experienced something like that before or since. To give you some idea of how out of the norm this was and how scared it made me, I immediately went to the emergency room to have it checked and I hadn't been to an emergency room as a patient in almost twenty years, so I'm not someone that just goes to the hospital for every little thing.
About fifteen to twenty minutes after I got to the ER, so probably 40ish minutes after I noticed the problem, it was gone. The doctors still ran a few tests. They had me do a basic eye test where I read letters off a chart. They shined a light in my eyes and had me track a moving finger. Finally, they gave me a CT scan just to make sure it wasn't a major brain issue like a stroke. They told me they couldn't find any problems, nothing wrong on the CT scan, didn't see signs of a torn retina, etc. They told me to book an appointment with an Optometrist, just to have a specialist do a more thorough follow up, which I have booked, although at the time of this post it's still a week and a half away, so I haven't seen them yet.
Then the real problem started. The original eye problem that brought me to the ER, that little distorted spot? It's never come back. I haven't seen it since that one hour in that one day. What did happen in the following days was me being very stressed about what had happened, and becoming hyper-aware of my vision. For me this meant I became more aware of the floaters in my eyes. I've had floaters for years and years, probably most of my adult life, if not longer. Currently, I have three pretty obvious ones in my right eye, one or two obvious ones in my left, and maybe some more light, hard to see ones that I could only find if I really went hunting for them. Floaters are annoying, but I've gotten used to them like most people do and in fact I will go months and months at a time without even thinking about them once. But being hyper-aware of my vision after my ER scare, I paid more attention to them for a few days and was more annoyed by them. Just when I was starting to forget about them one day I was brushing my teeth before bed and looking into the dim hallway I noticed a very weird vision thing. It is really hard for me to put into words, but the best I can say is it's like some kind of visual grain. It feels like it's moving but it might just be rapidly pulsating, I'm not sure.
All of a sudden, I noticed that I see it all the time, everywhere, out of both eyes. It is most noticeable when I stare at something blank without much detail: a wall, the floor, ceiling, a towel several feet away, but I can see it on things with detail as well. It's there persistently. It's more noticeable in a darker/dimmer setting but is still very noticeable in normal light levels as well. It's not like a floater, it's not like the weird one time thing sent me to the ER. The closest thing I can compare it to is when you rub your eyes hard and then open them again, your vision is very briefly kind of flickering little levels of light where you rubbed them? Well, imagine that constantly over your vision, only a bit less severe and maybe a finer "grain" to it. I've looked up various online pictures and videos that try to approximate what visual snow looks like to people, and none of them really fit. Again, I don't see it in colors, and if it's dots they're so small that I can really even define them as dots.
Now, there are three situations where I can make this problem far less noticeable. One, if I focus on something incredibly close up, but I'm talking nearly on my eye, as close as you can get and still focus on something. Two, if I stare at a bright spot, like a white patch of ceiling right next to a light bulb. Three, if I watch something moving with lots of detail, like a TV show, although even there I can see it if I look for it or there's a big patch on the screen of a single color with no detail, so this one might be more of a distraction than anything.
In the three or four days since I've discovered this, I've been a wreck. It's all I can focus on. The fact that it's there constantly everywhere and it has some kind of either movement or pulsation really bothers me and I'm worried it's never going away. I've lost my appetite, I'm panicked, I'm depressed, I feel helpless. The funny thing is I can vaguely remember noticing I had some kind of visual "noise" years ago, but it was once in a dark room and I had never thought of it again. It's been so long since that time, I can't remember if this is worse or the same as what I noticed then, but I get the feeling this is something I've had for a long time to some degree but was used to it or it progressed so slowly I didn't really notice, but now that I do see it, I can't unsee it. It's all I see.
Before I get into my worries/questions I'll also say that I am nearsighted, have been since I was a pre-teen, and I wear glasses. I am in fact long overdue for an optometrist appointment, we're talking years since I've seen one, and I know my vision has gotten somewhat worse and I need a stronger prescription, but it's not been a big issue for me. I still have read, watched TV, lived my life, I just have noticed having to get somewhat closer to things in recent years.
So with all that said, these are the worries I have:
1. I have visual snow/static.
The only eye condition I can find that even comes close to describing the symptoms I have is visual snow, but I'm unsure if that's even it, which is a big reason why I'm here writing this. I'm looking for you, the people who are definite sufferers of visual snow/static to give me your opinion. The moving nature of it and the "grain" jive with your condition, but it is not really dots. It's not colors. The part that does match up is that moving/shimmering/flickering/whatever you want to call it effect, which does feel a little like static.
2. I have some other eye condition
I have not found anything else online that comes close to fitting this description, but obviously I'm not an expert. I am still waiting to see the optometrist but the ER doctors did do that basic vision check and didn't notice anything there.
3. There's nothing I can do about it and it's never going to go away
This is my biggest fear. I am so scared of the idea that this is just the way my vision will always be now. I know I probably lived with it at some level for some time and didn't notice, but that that I'm aware of it, I can't get used to it. The grain aspect isn't fun but the bigger problem is that feeling that it's moving or flashing or whatever static type thing it's doing. It's so distracting and now that I see it it makes me queasy if I focus on it. It's like I can trust my eyes, nothing is still and that bothers me so much.
I'm willing to accept that part of this might be stress related. I have suffered panic attacks in the past and the ER situation did put me in a very scared state about my vision. On the other hand, this has been the only time in my life I've ever worried about my vision in a major way and I do remember noticing years ago that I had something like this to some degree, although again, it's been so long I can't remember how it compares, I just know at the time it was enough to notice but not enough to freak me out like it's doing now. I don't think I'm hallucinating/imagining this out of nothing.
Any and all help would be appreciated. Again, I am so stressed right now, this is ruining my life. I am so worried I'm just going to be told that there's nothing to be done or I'm crazy and imagining it. I don't know if I can get used to this. Please help if you have any insight.