A diagnosis of neurological visual impairments can include things like photophobia and trouble seeing objects that are positioned on a cluttered background. Your child might also display physical symptoms of neurological visual problems, known as cortical visual impairments that can include one or more of the following:
- Exhaustion from performing visual tasks
- Paying better attention to moving versus still objects
- Diminished responses to visual objects when other things are happening in the background like music or voices
- Diminished responses to objects when your child is being touched
While some children might eschew palpable, tangible stimulation, others may prefer it all together. Your child’s teachers and other caregivers might express concern for their preference to reach for an object without appearing to look at either the object or their own hand as the child reaches out.
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Defining Neurological Visual Impairments
Noting the physical symptoms of neurological visual impairments is only a small part of addressing the condition. Understanding its causes is equally important. Neurological visual impairments are a common cause of permanent vision loss and odd visual responses in children. It is a condition that is not caused by any damage or malfunction of your child’s eyes. Instead, neurological visual impairments are caused by damage to the brain.
When your child is diagnosed with neurological visual impairments that may display itself as trouble with their eyesight, such as diminished visual accuracy. Your child might have difficulty fixating on or following things with their eyes.
Understanding What Leads to Neurological Visual Impairments
Neurological visual impairment is a visual problem caused by an issue with your child’s brain instead of an issue with the way their eyes work. The damage affects one or both of the cortical and subcortical sections of your child’s brain. Known causes of neurological visual impairments include:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Brain injuries
- Viral meningitis
When you are ready to understand what caused your infant’s current condition, speak to their health care professionals. Your child’s medical team may be able to help you discover what caused their current condition and vision trouble.
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Hypoxic – Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a severe condition caused by asphyxia, lack of oxygen, and ischemia, lack of adequate blood supply. Severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy happens right at the birth of your child. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy can be difficult to diagnose when coexisting conditions are in place and are sometimes characterized by low Apgar score.
Periventricular leukomalacia is a specific type of brain damage found in extremely premature infants. It involves injuries to the brain’s white matter and can damage the nerves. Periventricular leukomalacia can cause muscle spasticity, developmental delays, and make it difficult for your child to learn. Unfortunately, there is no way to treat periventricular leukomalacia, and your child’s prognosis will vary according to the severity of their case of periventricular leukomalacia.
Understanding Your Child’s Apgar Score
Most infants are given an Apgar test twice shortly after their birth. The one-minute Apgar score tells your newborn’s medical team how well they handled being born. The five-minute Apgar score tells them how well your new infant adjusts to the world outside your body. The Apgar test measures the following five key areas on a scale of zero to two:
- Breathing Effort: Not breathing scores zero, shallow breathing scores one, crying well scores two
- Heart Rate: No heartbeat scores zero, fewer than 100 bpm scores one, more than 100 bpm scores two
- Muscle Tone: Floppy muscles score zero, minimal muscle tone scores one, active movement scores two
- Reflexes: No grimace scores zero, grimacing scores one, grimacing with coughing and crying scores two
- Skin Color: Pale blue skin scores zero, blue extremities scores one, a pink body scores two
Your child’s medical team will be able to help you understand their one-minute and five-minute Apgar scores. They will also be able to help you understand how your infant’s Apgar score relates to their current diagnosis.
Speak to a Neurological Visual Impairment Lawyer
If you are concerned about the physical symptoms of neurological visual impairments in your child, you should seek immediate medical attention. Your child’s health care team can help you reach a prompt diagnosis, which may be able to help your child’s doctor develop an effective treatment plan.
Your child is entitled to the best medical care, and you are entitled to the financial compensation that will allow you to provide it. When you are ready to assign liability for your child’s condition, you need the help and guidance of an attorney. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation.