Quantification of photophobia in visual snow syndrome: A case-control study
Article first published online: December 22, 2019
Ozan E Eren1, Ruth Ruscheweyh1, Andreas Straube1, Christoph J Schankin1, 2
Department of Neurology, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich, University Hospital – Großhadern, Munich, Germany
Department of Neurology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Christoph J Schankin, Department of Neurology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To quantify photophobia in visual snow syndrome (VSS), a debilitating migraine-associated visual disturbance manifesting with continuous “TV snow-like” flickering dots in the entire visual field and additional visual symptoms, such as photophobia.
Photophobia was compared between 19 patients with VSS and 19 controls matched for age, sex, migraine and aura using the Leiden Visual Sensitivity Scale (L-VISS).
Patients with VSS had an increased L-VISS-score compared to matched controls [(22.2 ± 5.9 vs. 4.4 ± 4.8; ANOVA, factors VSS and comorbid migraine: Main effect for VSS (F = 100.70; p < 0.001), but not for migraine (F < 0.01; p = 1.00) or the interaction (F = 1.93; p = 0.16)]. An L-VISS-score of 14 identified VSS with a sensitivity and specificity of 95% (Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis, 0.986 ± 0.014, p ≤ 0.001). Conclusion Patients with VSS suffer continuously from photophobia at a level similar to chronic migraineurs during attacks. Although migraine and VSS share dysfunctional visual processing, patients with VSS might be more severely affected. Keywords Visual sensitivity, migraine, aura, visual processing