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Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Cerebral visual impairment (also called cortical visual impairment or CVI) is a condition caused by damage to the parts of the brain that process vision. It is most common in infants and young children, but can continue into adulthood.

A child with CVI has vision problems caused by the brain that cannot be explained by a problem with their eyes. Normally, the eyes send electrical signals to the brain, and the brain converts those signals into the images you see. When you have CVI, your brain has problems processing and understanding these signals.

CVI is a major cause of loss of vision in children in the United States. For some children with CVI, vision gets better over time , but everyone is different. If your child has CVI, make sure they receive early intervention and therapy, educational support, and other special services to help them develop and learn.

What are the symptoms of CVI?

CVI can cause a variety of visual problems that can range from mild to severe. Children with CVI can have problems:

  • Respond to the things they see
  • See certain parts of what is in front of them, such as busy moving scenes
  • Recognizing faces and objects
  • Recognizing things in cluttered spaces
  • Reaching for something while looking at it
  • Understand what they are looking at

Parents may also notice that their child with CVI:

  • Responds slowly to visual cues
  • Prefers to watch things in motion
  • Prefers to see things in a certain part of their view, such as with their peripheral (side) view

Some children with CVI tend to stare at light (such as lamps or the sun), while others are sensitive to light.

Children with CVI often have other disabilities or health problems, including:

  • Developmental Disorders
  • Cerebral palsy (a brain disorder that causes movement problems)
  • Epilepsy (a brain disorder that causes seizures)
  • Hearing loss

What Causes CVI?

CVI is caused by a brain injury. Most of the time these injuries occur before, during, or shortly after birth. Common causes of CVI in babies and young children are:

  • Lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain - often as a result of a stroke
  • Hydrocephalus (when fluid builds up in the brain)
  • Infections reaching the brain
  • Head wound
  • Certain genetic conditions

Babies who are born prematurely (prematurely) are more likely to develop CVI.

Can Adults Get CVI?

Adults can also develop vision problems after a traumatic brain injury (such as a head injury or stroke that damages the brain). Veterans may be at higher risk for visual problems from combat injuries.

These problems are sometimes referred to as acquired CVI, but it is not the same as CVI. A brain injury that occurs later in life usually has different symptoms than CVI, which is caused by an injury at a young age.

How does my child's eye doctor check for CVI?

There is no single test to check for CVI. If you suspect your child has vision problems, the first step is a comprehensive eye exam to see if the problem is with the eyes.

If the exam doesn't find any eye problems that explain your child's symptoms, that could mean the problem is with the brain. To get the diagnosis, your child will need to see an eye doctor who is familiar with CVI . Your child may need to visit other specialists, such as a pediatric neurologist or neuro-ophthalmologist.

The doctor will examine your child and ask about their medical history. They can also order scans of your child's brain.

CVI can be difficult to diagnose, but the correct diagnosis is key to giving your child the help they need. So if your child has vision problems that cannot be explained by an eye problem or remedied by glasses, ask your doctor if it could be CVI - especially if your child has had a brain injury.

What is the treatment for CVI?

There is no cure for CVI, but vision rehabilitation can help people with CVI get the most out of their vision. For some people with CVI, vision problems get better on their own over time. Experts aren't sure why this is happening.

Infants and children with CVI need early intervention and therapy, educational support, and other special services to help them develop and learn. Read more about early intervention Deze link is extern voor nei.nih.gov en wordt geopend in een nieuw browservenster of tabblad. .

If your child has CVI, it is important to work with their doctors to find the best plan for their care. Some children may need treatment for other health conditions they may have in addition to CVI.

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