CVI is cerebral visual impairment (sometimes called cortical visual impairment or CVI) and is a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain that process vision. It is the leading cause of childhood blindness and low vision.
The Complex Nature of CVI
CVI’s complexity stems from the intricate connections between the brain’s visual pathways and centers. The brain’s ability to interpret visual information relies on a precise interplay between various regions, including the occipital lobe responsible for visual processing. When these regions are damaged, as in CVI, visual perception can be severely compromised.
One of the most challenging aspects of CVI is its varying presentation. Individuals with CVI can exhibit a wide array of symptoms, making diagnosis and management intricate tasks. Some common signs include difficulty recognizing faces, struggles with depth perception, challenges in object recognition, and trouble distinguishing colors. Children with CVI may exhibit additional complexities due to the developing nature of their brains. They might have trouble with visual tasks such as tracking moving objects, making eye contact, and understanding spatial relationships. These challenges can significantly impact their overall development and learning.
Diagnosing CVI requires a comprehensive assessment that often involves collaboration between neurologists, ophthalmologists, and other specialists. A thorough understanding of an individual’s medical history, along with careful observation of their visual behaviors, helps in formulating an accurate diagnosis. Early intervention is crucial in providing these individuals with tailored therapies that address their specific visual deficits. Visual rehabilitation, occupational therapy and educational support can contribute to enhancing their visual abilities and overall quality of life.
Despite its complexity, Cerebral Visual Impairment remains less recognised in comparison to other visual impairments. Raising awareness about CVI among medical professionals, educators, and the general public is essential for early identification, appropriate interventions, and providing the necessary support to individuals affected by this condition.