Doctors diagnose neurological visual impairments in children through an examination of your child’s eyes. When it is possible and feasible, your child’s visual abilities should also be clinically tested.
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How Your Child’s Visual Exam Works
A visual acuity test is typically administered using a standardized letter chart. This is a recognizable test like the ones you may have seen in schools, doctor’s offices, or vision centers. Usually, each eye is tested individually with the results being recorded as a fraction. You can recognize it by numbers like 20/20 vision. Using large black and white stripes, visual acuity can also be tested in infants and children too young to know letters or numbers.
The doctor who examines your child might also assess and make note of your child’s visually guided responses and depending on the results, refer them to another doctor who specializes in children with a condition called low vision.
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Causes of Diagnosed Neurological Visual Impairments
It is important to note that neurological visual impairments diagnosed in children are not always a result of issues with the eyes themselves. They may instead be the result of a brain injury or other issues. The causes and contributing factors of Neurological Visual Impairment in your son or daughter might also include:
- Oxygen deprivation in full-term infants
- Brain damage in premature infants
Pregnancy with twins and heart issues can also lead to neurological visual impairments. Your child’s medical team will be able to help you understand what caused the condition in your child and recommend treatment options.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, also known as perinatal asphyxia, is a condition of oxygen deprivation and inadequate blood supply. In severe cases, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy might cause irreversible damage to your baby’s brain. It typically occurs just before or just after your child is fully delivered.
When the visual pathways and primary visual cortex are affected by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, it could result in neurological or cortical visual impairments.
How Neurological Visual Impairments Affect Your Child’s Eyesight
Neurological visual impairments diagnosed in children can negatively impact vision in a variety of ways. Your child might have trouble controlling their eyes enough to look directly at a specific object, shifting the focus of their vision from one object to another, or controlling the fine motor skills that let them draw or trace a picture.
Your child might also have trouble gauging an object’s distance or understanding how their own body fits into the environment around them. They may also struggle to recognize objects or to choose between them.
Treatment Options for Neurological Visual Impairment Diagnosis
A diagnosis of neurological visual impairments means your child will require some special care and attention from trained teachers and therapists. If your state offers specialized services and instructions for children with vision problems, your child’s doctor should refer them to those services as soon as a firm diagnosis is made.
Like every child with Neurological Visual Impairments, your son or daughter should be evaluated to understand exactly how their eyesight is affected and the specific treatments that will benefit them.
As they reach school age, their teachers and therapists might focus on other areas of learning that provide the support they need to maximize their outcome. Your child might also benefit from help, support, and treatments that teach them to safely navigate their world to become as self-reliant and independent as possible.
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Your Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Your Birth Injury Claim
If a medical professional fails to uphold the correct standard of care, you deserve compensation for the harm your child has suffered. Assigning liability and holding the right people responsible for your child’s birth injury can also help ensure your ability to provide the continued medical care they need. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for help.