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Vision Impairment in Kids with Cerebral Palsy


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For normal people, vision capability is one of the most essential senses because when you have good vision, you will have the autonomy to go wherever you want and perform normal activities with ease. But this is not the case for kids with cerebral palsy because unlike with normal people whose vision deteriorates due to old age, kids with cerebral palsy may be born with vision impairment. This means that when they grow up, their movement and independence will become very limited. But not all vision impairment is unavoidable. Sometimes comprehensive visual therapy can help restore or prevent permanent loss of sight.

Several types of vision impairments are common to kids diagnosed with cerebral palsy compared to the general population. One type of vision impairment is the strabismus. This is a particular vision condition that is often characterized by the differences between the right and left eye muscles that result in the misalignment of the eyes commonly known as cross-eyed. The misalignment results to double vision although in children, the brain may try to adapt with the condition by simply ignoring the signals that are coming from the other eye. A clinical study conducted on this subject showed that between sixty to seventy percent of kids diagnosed with cerebral palsy also acquire the strabismus. When this condition remains untreated during the early stage of its manifestation, it can lead to a very poor visual capacity of one eye which can hinder some skills requiring visual capacity like judging distance. To correct this condition, physicians often recommend surgery when the condition is a diagnosed at its early stage.

Another visual impairment common to children with cerebral palsy is nystagmus. This particular vision impairment is characterized by the rapid oscillating movement of the eye or the way it moves back and forth at an abnormal pace. This condition can interfere with the processing of graphical stimuli simply because of the fact that the eye fails to focus on the surrounding or whatever it is that stimulates the vision. Cortical blindness is also another visual impairment that may affect the visual capacity of children with cerebral palsy. When a child suffers from cortical blindness, the eye in itself will be functioning normal but the problem lies on the signals not being properly sent to the optic nerve which results from the cortex not being able to process the signals which is why the child with this condition cannot see.

Children with cerebral palsy may also be diagnosed with hemianopia which is defined as blindness or impaired vision in the semi part of the visual field of one eye. This means that the child will not be able to see anything either in the entire right or left visual fields of the two eyes. For children with cerebral palsy, there are times wherein the eye muscles fail to coordinate eye movements which result to a sort of visual impairment which is known as the abnormality of saccadic.

Origins of Cerebral Palsy is the comprehensive source for information on causes and treatment of Cerebral Palsy.


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