How reliable is the online VCS Test?

How reliable is the online VCS Test?

Great question! Dr. Shoemaker has the data-backed answers for you.

When it comes to diagnosing CIRS/mold illness, settle for nothing less.

The Visual Contrast Sensitivity screening is an online test completed at home in less than 10 minutes – without the oversight of a physician or lab technician. So, we often get asked, “Can it really be trusted?”

The bottom line: Shoemaker Protocol™ Practitioners have been relying on the VCS as an initial indicator of CIRS for decades, and so can you.


Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, the pioneer of CIRS and the Shoemaker Protocol™, has relied upon the Surviving Mold VCS as an initial diagnostic step for over 30 years. The screening has helped tens of thousands of patients recover and thrive.


Dr. Shoemaker is meticulous in research, data collecting, scientific method, publishing his findings, and going the extra mile through the peer review process, too. If you’re suffering from the multiple complications of CIRS/mold illness, settle for nothing less. Your health and recovery depend on it.


Dr. Shoemaker’s research and data collection pinpoints the reliability of the VCS, down to precise percentages.


There are also multiple papers showing the benefits of visual contrast sensitivity in assessment of functional vision. At one count, there were over 4,000 references in PubMed. You can view Dr. Shoemaker’s early papers on Pfiesteria and mold discussing visual contrast sensitivity on the Surviving Mold site.


So, just how likely is it that your passed or failed test could be wrong?

We’ll give you the highlights of Dr. Shoemaker’s findings below.


First, it helps to understand how the VCS works:


The Visual Contrast Sensitivity test is a 10-minute test that aims to determine how well you can tell between shades of grey. The test measures one the neurologic functions of vision known as “contrast.” This is an area found to be vulnerable to the accumulation of biotoxins which impair the ability to detect subtle contrast within 24-36 hours after exposure.


It’s important to note that the Surviving Mold VCS test is an initial screening step in the Shoemaker Protocol™ diagnostic testing process. If you have failed test results, the next step is to follow up with a Shoemaker Protocol™ Practitioner or your attending physician for further diagnostic testing and evaluation.


CIRS is a multi-symptom, multi-system illness, and further testing will specify the type of CIRS you may have, plus ascertain treatment parameters and gauge progress.



What a Failed Test Means


Your score will show up as a Pass or Fail. While a failed test points to the existence of CIRS or biotoxin/mold illness, the screening by itself is not considered a definitive diagnosis for any specific condition.


The VCS test will not tell us which chronic inflammatory response syndrome you have, but it will give clear direction that you need to be further evaluated for entities such as mold, Lyme, cyanobacteria, and dinoflagellates.


If you receive a Fail, you now have the answer to the next step in your diagnostic and treatment pathway. Your next steps include following up with a Shoemaker Protocol™ informed practitioner for diagnostic confirmation and treatment plan, plus you will need to locate the source of the mold problem (usually home, school, or work) and remediate and/or remove yourself from mold/biotoxin exposure.


For more information on the Shoemaker Protocol™ testing and recovery process, DOWNLOAD OUR FREE “GOT MOLD” GUIDE


For those questioning the accuracy of their results, read on…


How often do incorrect results happen?


When the test is performed accurately, the incidence of false reads is exceptionally low.


The VCS test has a 98.5% accuracy rate when looking at false positives, and over a 92% accuracy rate regarding false negatives, based on data collected from tens of thousands of tests taken over the years since Dr. Shoemaker first began using it. Your score is recorded and determined according to published criteria.


What we know about the 1.5% false positive group:


If you have a multi-symptom, multi-symptom illness and a VCS deficit, the likelihood that you have a chronic inflammatory response syndrome is 98.5%. This means there are 1.5% of patients who will test normal despite a “failed” outcome on VCS.


Data shows some known confounders as people with occupational exposure to heavy metals, hydrocarbons and solvents can acquire a VCS deficit that never corrects.


If you do in fact have CIRS, you can still track your treatment progress with the VCS as the score will improve with treatment. The test should be repeated once a month to consistently track your improvement (or decline if there is re-exposure) during treatment.


What we know about the 8% of CIRS cases that will have a false-negative result. That is, the will have a normal VCS test (or pass) even though they do have CIRS:


  • There is a disproportionate increase in teenagers, especially teenage women in those that have normal VCS but abnormal laboratory studies in the presence of multiple symptoms.


  • The other groups of people that have routinely preserved contrast vision show a significant increase in particular occupations such as artists, photographers, interior designers, baseball players and tennis players. These individuals might have a physiologic basis for their “good eye.”


If you question your results, be sure to follow up with a Shoemaker Protocol™ Practitioner, or point your physician to the Surviving Mold site to proceed with Shoemaker Protocol™ Labs and Testing.


A Shoemaker Protocol™ Practitioner can also confirm your VCS results with a hand-held VCS test.


Could your symptoms be CIRS/Mold Illness? Get started now…


There are many mold symptoms, because the illness affects multiple systems in the body, which in turn, causes the patient to exhibit multiple symptoms. Below are some of the most common symptoms of mold/biotoxin illness.

If you are experiencing several of the below symptoms, you could be suffering from mold illness.

♦Fatigue ♦Weakness ♦Aches ♦Muscle Cramps ♦Unusual Pain ♦Ice Pick Pain ♦Headache ♦Light Sensitivity ♦Red Eyes ♦Blurred Vision ♦Tearing ♦Sinus Problems ♦Cough ♦Shortness of Breath ♦Abdominal Pain ♦Diarrhea ♦Joint Pain ♦Morning Stiffness ♦Memory Issues ♦Focus/Concentration Issues ♦Word Recollection Issues ♦Decreased Learning of New Knowledge ♦Confusion ♦Disorientation ♦Skin Sensitivity ♦Mood Swings ♦Appetite Swings ♦Sweats (especially night sweats) ♦Temperature Regulation Problems ♦Excessive Thirst ♦Increased Urination ♦Static Shocks ♦Numbness ♦Tingling ♦Vertigo ♦Metallic Taste ♦Tremors


Is it possible you’ve been exposed to a water damaged building and mold could be affecting you? Don’t delay.


Check your symptoms and get reliable answers online with the Surviving Mold Visual Contrast Screening (VCS) system.