A diagnosis of Cortical Visual Impairment is typically made for children who display abnormal visual responses that cannot be credited to the eyes themselves. Cortical Visual Impairment is typically diagnosed when a medical professional carefully examine your child’s eyes.
An eye exam can show anomalies of your baby’s optic nerves such as paleness and large cups. Your child’s pupils may react normally during this examination. Your baby may show signs of an inability to fixate or follow stimulation—even when the stimulation is intense.
In addition to a thorough eye exam, doctors and specialists will measure your baby’s visual acuity. Their health care team will also assess your child’s visually guided responses, especially the way they reach and the way they scan their environment. Your son or daughter might also be referred to a pediatric low vision specialist for further evaluation.
An Overview of Cortical Visual Impairment
Cortical Visual Impairment is a type of vision loss caused by damage to the visual cortex rather than by any defect in your child’s eye. Your baby’s occipital lobe is the center where their brain processes visual input. A traumatic brain injury can cause Cortical Visual Impairment.
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is the leading cause of permanent visual impairment in children. Brain dysfunction may cause abnormal visual responses. If your child suffers from Cortical Visual Impairment, they may not reach toward objects.
Symptoms of Cortical Visual Impairment
Having Cortical Visual Impairment diagnosed in your child may cause you to wonder what initially made their medical team begin to suspect them of having Cortical Visual Impairment in the first place. You may have even noticed some symptoms on your own that led to their diagnosis. The most common symptoms of Cortical Visual Impairment include:
- Abnormal responses to light
- Avoiding social gaze
- Brief periods of fixation
- Poor visual acuity
- Visual field loss
As a parent, you may be concerned when you notice a lack of social gaze and direct eye contact from your son or daughter. You might also notice your child avoiding unfamiliar visual stimulation like the faces of other people. Your child may also prefer touch to vision, might respond more favorably to voices and music, and might even reach for objects without looking at the object or their own hand as they reach.
Causes of Cortical Visual Impairment
Having Cortical Visual Impairment diagnosed in your son or daughter can feel devastating. Learning that it might have been avoided can lead to feelings of frustration and concern for their future. Common causes of Cortical Visual Impairment in infants and young children include:
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy – Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is a birth complication that affects full-term The primary underlying cause of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is impaired cerebral blood flow and oxygen delivery. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is one of the most serious birth injuries for newborns because it prevents adequate blood flow to your infant’s brain before, during, or after their delivery.
- Periventricular Leukomalacia – Periventricular leukomalacia, primarily found in premature infants, is a type of brain injury involving the death of small areas of your baby’s brain tissue around the ventricles.
- Neonatal infections like viral meningitis
- Pregnancy with twins
- Central nervous system developmental defects
Your child may also suffer from cerebral palsy or other cognitive delays.
Find a Cortical Visual Impairment Lawyer Near You
Have you or a member of your child’s health care team noticed the signs and symptoms of Cortical Visual Impairment in your son or daughter? If your child avoids looking at faces and you are concerned, speak to a health care professional immediately for a confirmed diagnosis.
Having Cortical Visual Impairment diagnosed in your son or daughter is the first step toward working with their health care team to create a treatment plan and to understand their prognosis for the future. Your child’s medical team can help you with these elements of their diagnosis.
Your birth injury attorney can help you understand the financial ramifications of their diagnosis. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to discuss your options for financial compensation.