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Cortical Vision Impairment


Question

Is cortical vision impairment as common as the other visual problems associated with CdLS? My son has myopia, nystagmus and has had surgery to correct ptosis. He also has cortical vision impairment. He receives vision therapy once a week. I hadn't heard about this vision problem previously and am curious about its frequency. I am also interested to find out how many children visually improve as their developmental level improves.

Answer of our experts

Any child with developmental delay may have some element of cortical visual impairment. It simply means that the eyes are sending a perfect message to the brain, but the brain isn't "paying attention" visually due to suboptimal overall brain function. If the brain anatomy is normal (as revealed by a CT or MRI scan), then children may show increased visual attentiveness as they mature.

I believe there is a support group for children with CVI. Try searching the web.

AL /TK 7-13-10

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Recommendation(s)

The eyes and the visual system

R36
Surgical correction of ptosis should be considered if vision is significantly affected or if the individual is lifting their chin in attempt to see more clearly and it is affecting the individual’s ability to move around.
R37
Blepharitis in individuals with CdLS should be treated conservatively with lid hygiene. Nasolacrimal duct obstruction (blocked tear ducts) should be suspected if symptoms are not improved with lid hygiene.
R38
Vision should be regularly evaluated in all individuals with CdLS, especially in infancy and childhood. Problems with vision should be corrected early to prevent amblyopia (lazy eye), although children may have difficulty tolerating glasses or contact lenses.

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Please take note that the Ask the Expert service is comprised of volunteer professionals in various areas of focus. Answers are not considered a medical, behavioral, or educational consultation. Ask the Expert is not a substitute for the care and attention your child’s personal physician, psychologist, educational consultant, or social worker can deliver.

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