Living with Visual Snow and other debilitating visual conditions

The story of Jennifer

Hi. My name is Jennifer Ambrose. I am the founder of the Eye on Vision Foundation (EOVF). I’d like to just take a few moments of your time and tell you about my story and let you know a little more about what EOVF is all about. In the summer of 2005 I woke up to a world which had been changed forever in my eyes. I saw floating spots and clouds everywhere. I made an appointment with my eye doctor. I was told that I had no retinal tears, and that my eyes looked healthy aside from the floaters. Later when I looked at my chart, I saw that I had macular drusen, which is a precursor to macular degeneration. I went home in despair, as I was given no hope that these would be going away. I would have to live with them the rest of my life. Also, I may have a potentially blinding condition in macular degeneration. Days past, and I started seeing visual snow everywhere. I went to a neuro-opthomologist this time, and all of my tests came back normal. He said he wasn’t familiar with my symptoms and had no advice. Days past, and my eyes became very sensitive to light. I started seeing negative after images everywhere, then my body began to tingle. I was admitted into the hospital for a week and had every test run known to man including CT scans, MRIs, blood work, Xrays, and a lumbar puncture. When I came home from the hospital my vision was worse. I was having ghosting images, halos, glare, and my vision had gone from about 20/30 to 20/40. Still no explanations. A few weeks went by and I was looking at my baby daughter; my older daughter was right behind her and there were two of her. I was seeing double. Not on the object I directly looked at, but whatever behind my object of focus was doubled. Back to yet another doctor. I was told that my brain had stopped filtering out excess visual information. Each eye sees two independent images and it is our brain that fuses those images into one. My brain was not doing that job effectively anymore. Down to Bascom Palmer in Miami for extensive testing. All results normal. Back to Orlando for a $500 an hour, out-of-pocket, neurologist. All results normal. Finally, after months I stopped getting new symptoms, but every single symptom I developed over those months has stayed with me. I still have the floaters, visual snow, after images, ghosting, glare, haloes, double vision. I still live with it all 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even with my eyes shut tight. Eventually I found a message board with hundreds of other people suffering from the same condition all around the world. All of their tests came back normal as well. Fast forward to June 2014 – some of my symptoms which had calmed down over the years came back even worse than 2005. I had never lost any of the symptoms, but they had lessened to the point that I was able to lead a happy life. Now they are back full force and new symptoms of flashes, blue random circles, and vertigo have also developed.? I turned 37 this year, and don’t want to live the rest of my life seeing the world in this warped way. This is why I started the Eye on Vision Foundation. We need hope. I need hope. Help us find a cure.