What Is Cortical Blindness or Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)?
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) is the most common cause of permanent visual impairment in children. The diagnosis of CVI is indicated for children showing abnormal visual responses that are attributed to brain damage instead of a problem with the eyes. CVI can be temporary or permanent. CVI may also be referred to as cortical blindness, although most children with CVI are not completely blind. Children with CVI often also have cerebral palsy or developmental delays.
Many factors can contribute to the cause of CVI, including:
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
Periventricular leukomalacia (a condition characterized by injury to the white matter of the brain)
Traumatic brain injury
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What Are CVI Symptoms?
Children with CVI may have a sensitivity to light or may fixate on light. They may have poor depth perception and focus, and may have better peripheral vision than central vision. Children with CVI may lack a social gaze or may not make direct eye contact. They may have trouble recognizing faces, interpreting drawings, or distinguishing between background and foreground. Vision improvements may be seen in some children as their brains develop.
Is Treatment Available for CVI?
CVI is a condition that may require rehabilitative therapies, such as physical and occupational therapy, and specialists including pediatric neurologists and ophthalmologists. The medical costs associated with these appointments over the course of a child’s life can be substantial.
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If you suspect that your child has Cortical Visual Impairment as a result of an injury at or near the time of birth, contact our birth injury attorneys to discuss your situation.