The condition we now know as neurological vision impairment used to be called “cortical blindness,” although this name is a misnomer. Babies and children with neurological vision impairments are not blind. They have some sight remaining, and there are reasons to believe that most can recover some additional vision with therapy.
Some babies and children may experience temporary blindness following a traumatic brain injury, but neurological vision impairments are different. They occur as a result of global brain injury, usually following a period when the brain did not receive adequate oxygen. The effects of neurological vision impairments are permanent, although they may improve significantly in some children.
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Children Can Recover Some of Their Vision with Intervention
Even when severe vision impairment occurs, babies and children may be able to partially recover their sight with the right interventions. At the very least, the children and their families can learn ways to adapt to their special visual needs. For example, many children with neurological vision impairments cannot read pencil writing on paper. They can, however, read when a black marker prints letters on the same paper.
In general, babies and children who receive therapy and other interventions can make improvements in:
- Visual acuity
- Focusing on peripheral stimuli
- Reaching for objects
- Social gaze
A part of this process may also include identifying and treating other conditions that could make it difficult to focus or see. For example, effective seizure management can help children focus better and result in improved vision.
Most children who have a neurological vision impairment improve with therapy. One study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that more than 60 percent of children with neurological vision impairments showed at least some improvement during follow-up visits. About a third remained the same, and two percent showed a decline in visual abilities.
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Understanding Neurological Vision Impairment Therapy
There have been great strides in diagnosing neurological vision impairments over the last few years, even in children with other severe neurological conditions. However, there are still a few medical treatments for this condition.
Intervention and therapy show promise and many children improve when they undergo this type of rehabilitation. The therapy exercises, though, require specific active visual stimulations that the child must see dozens of times a day. These exercises address the issues the child faces because of their neurological vision impairment, including:
- Light gazing
- Fear and avoidance of light
- Poor visual attention
- Extreme preference for certain colors
- Visual field abnormalities
- Difficulty with visual complexity
- Issues related to distance and space
- Eccentric viewing
- Atypical visual reflex behaviors
- Problems with contrast
Some of these are characteristic behaviors of a child with a neurological vision impairment. With early interventional therapy and a care team that includes doctors and therapists familiar with neurological vision impairments, you can give your child the best opportunity to increase their visual abilities.
You May Be Able to Hold Your Child’s Medical Care Providers Accountable
Many birth injuries are preventable, and this is sometimes true of the prenatal hypoxia that causes neurological vision impairment. If your child’s doctor or a member of the hospital staff caused or failed to prevent your child’s injuries, you may have a valid birth injury case against them.
All too often, despite signs of serious deficits that could affect their vision, neurological vision impairments often go undiagnosed for years. These impairments are also:
- Commonly misdiagnosed
- Symptomatically recognized but not diagnosed
- Symptomatically unrecognized until the child reaches preschool or school age.
This is unfortunate since the treatment of co-occurring ophthalmological conditions and early intervention can greatly improve the outcome for the child. If a doctor or other medical care provider missed your child’s neurological vision impairment diagnosis, you may have a case against them. The effects of neurological vision impairments are permanent in most cases. You have a right to pursue justice.
You need to talk to a birth injury attorney in your state to get a better understanding of your case and your legal options. Most birth injury attorneys will review your case for free.
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Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney Near You About Your Case
If your child suffers from neurological vision impairment, you may be able to hold the doctor or hospital accountable for their role in causing their injury or failing to diagnose it quickly. Reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today and let us connect you with a medical malpractice attorney in your state who takes on birth injury cases.
Call us now at (800) 222-9529 to get started right away.