Cortical Visual Impairment is a condition of your child’s brain as opposed to a condition of his eye. Although Cortical Visual Impairment can be an isolated condition, some children who have Cortical Visual Impairment may have other disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
Premature infants with Cortical Visual Impairment are more likely to experience significant abnormalities of all parts of their visual system leading to reduced vision. The most commonly seen problem is retinopathy of prematurity. The severity of retinopathy of prematurity is inversely related to gestational age with damages that can range from mild to catastrophic.
Ailments and Diseases That Your Infant with Cortical Visual Impairment May Experience
Premature infants experience higher rates of cortical visual impairment often related to neonatal brain injury. In later years, Cortical Visual Impairments might be a precursor to other ailments like glaucoma and retinal detachments.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eyes that cause vision loss. Glaucoma will typically occur when pressure from extra fluid in your baby’s eyeball damages their optic nerve. Vision loss as a result of glaucoma is usually slow, progresses over time, and may result in long-lasting vision loss and blindness if left untreated.
Treatment for glaucoma can include prescription eye drops to decrease pressure in your baby’s eye. In some cases of glaucoma, your child’s doctor might suggest a surgical correction. A diagnosis of glaucoma will also necessitate frequent and ongoing examinations to monitor the pressure in your child’s eyes.
Retinal detachment happens when your child’s retina becomes separated from its underlying layer. Your child’s doctor or another member of their health care team will diagnose retinal detachment by examining their eye with a specialized medical instrument called an ophthalmoscope.
In most cases, retinal detachment is a repairable condition and can result in improved vision if corrected early. When your child’s retina detaches, it separates from its blood supply and, unless reattached, can lead to permanent damage caused by the lack of blood.
How Doctors Determine Prematurity
While the premature birth of your infant is not a result of Cortical Visual Impairment, premature infants are more prone to a diagnosis of periventricular leukomalacia which can lead to Cortical Visual Impairment.
A premature infant is one who is born before the completion of thirty-seven weeks of gestation or more than three weeks prior to your anticipated due date. Prematurity can be caused by:
- A weakened cervix that dilates too early
- A history of premature birth
- A urinary tract infection
- An infection of the amniotic membranes
- A premature rupturing of your membranes
Premature infants might experience difficulty breathing and have trouble maintaining consistent body temperature. Premature infants might experience long-lasting effects that include delayed growth and development, mental or physical delays, and visual problems that can result in low vision or blindness.
Periventricular leukomalacia is a brain injury typically observed in very premature infants. Periventricular leukomalacia injures the white matter around the brain’s fluid-filled ventricles. The white matter in your infant’s brain conveys information between his nerve cells, spinal cord, and between one part of their brain and the other.
In addition to extreme prematurity, periventricular leukomalacia is also common in infants with low birth weight and is the second most commonly seen birth complication that involves your child’s central nervous system. It damages the nerve pathways in your child’s brain that control motor movements. Infants with periventricular leukomalacia are at higher risk of having cerebral palsy.
How Your Newborn Suffered from A Birth Injury
A birth injury occurs during the process of labor and delivery. Your baby might endure a physical injury during that process, particularly as they pass through the birth canal. A birth injury can have several causes including:
- Premature birth
- The birth of a large baby
- Difficult or prolonged labor
- An abnormal birth presentation
- The use of forceps or vacuum extractors
Common birth injuries include swelling or bruising on your baby’s head or bleeding under their cranial bones. If your child is the victim of a birth injury, they might also endure facial nerve injuries, injuries to the nerves that control their upper limbs, and a fractured clavicle or collarbone.
Get the Help Your Child Deserves
If your son or daughter was diagnosed with Cortical Visual Impairment and you want to know if their diagnosis is a precursor to other ailments or diseases, an attorney might be able to help. You deserve answers to every question you have about your child’s current diagnosis and their future prognosis.
Your attorney can help you identify the cause of your baby’s current medical condition. He can also help you understand the full cost of your child’s condition and how you might be able to recover those costs.