CVI- Cerebral visual impairment (sometimes referred to as cortical visual impairment) is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that processes vision. CVI is the leading cause of visual impairments in the United States. One study shows that up to 1 in 30 children have CVI-related visual difficulties.
CVI is most common in babies and young children but can continue into adulthood. Some people with CVI have good vision when measured on a letter or picture chart – their vision is sharp – but they can’t use their vision properly to do everyday tasks. In other words, many children with CVI have no problems with their eyes, but their brains are unable to decode what they are looking at.
A Child with CVI may have trouble:
- Responding to the things they see
- Seeing certain parts of what is in from of them, like busy moving scenes
- Recognizing faces and objects
- Recognizing things in cluttered spaces
- Reaching for something while they’re looking at it
- Understanding what they’re looking at
Parents may also notice that their child with CVI:
- Reacts slowly to visual clues
- Prefers to look at things that are moving
- Prefers to look at things in a certain part of their vision like with their peripheral (side) vision
What causes CVI?
CVI can be caused by a number of different factors including a lack of oxygen or blood supply to the brain, hydrocephalus, infections that reach the brain, head injury, and certain genetic conditions. Babies that are born prematurely are more likely to have CVI.
There isn’t a cure for CVI, but vision rehabilitation can help people with CVI make the most of their vision. They can continue to do the things they love, they just may have to find alternative ways of doing them. Babies and children with CVI need early intervention and therapy, educational support, and other special services to help them develop and learn.
If you believe your child is experiencing CVI, or any other vision difficulties, we are here to help. contact us at 570-323-9401.