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ABC Children's Eye Specialists

Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located in Avondale, Phoenix, & Mesa, AZ

In most cases, vision impairment is due to an issue that affects the eyes. However, cortical visual impairment (CVI) includes vision problems due to a problem with the regions of the brain responsible for vision. At ABC Children’s Eye Specialists in Phoenix, Avondale, and Mesa, Arizona, the team of pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists diagnose CVI and offer interventional services to correct your child’s vision. Call or make an appointment online today.


What is CVI?

Cortical visual impairment (CVI) includes vision problems due to neurological issues in the visual part of the brain. CVI doesn’t affect the structure or function of the eyes, which may present challenges in diagnosing the condition. However, children with CVI display several characteristic behaviors that alert the team at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists to a possible neurological condition.

What are the signs of CVI?

Children with CVI tend to display several distinctive behaviors and visual characteristics including:

  • Strong color preference
  • Delayed visual response
  • Visual field abnormalities
  • Problems with unfamiliar visual stimuli
  • Preference for looking at lights
  • Unusual visual behaviors
  • Better able to see moving objects than stationary objects
  • Better visual response to nearby objects compared to distant objects
  • Difficulty with complex visual objects, groups, or environments

In summary, if your child has CVI, they’ll typically prefer bright colors and be drawn to lights. They may struggle to pick out individual objects on busy backgrounds.

For example, if you show them a picture of a jungle scene and ask them to point at the lion or monkey, they may struggle, but if they look at the same images against a plain black background, they can see the difference.

You may also notice that your child has trouble with their distance vision or that they tend to look away from toys or other objects when they reach out to grasp it.

What causes CVI?

CVI is caused by anything that damages or impairs the visual part of the brain. Some of the common causes of CVI include:

  • Premature birth
  • Stroke
  • Hypoxia (reduced oxygen supply)
  • Brain malformation
  • Infection
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Metabolic disease
  • Head trauma

However, depending on the extent of the damage, your child may be able to overcome CVI as they grow and their brain continues to develop.

Can CVI be corrected?

The ophthalmologists and optometrists at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists have extensive experience in diagnosing CVI and offer a variety of services to help improve and protect your child’s vision. They’ll collaborate with your child’s pediatrician and neurologist and provide vision therapy and other services to stimulate healthy development in the visual centers of your child’s brain.

It’s critical to start treatment as early as possible, so make an appointment for a cortical visual impairment assessment at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists as soon as you observe signs of a potential issue. Call the practice or book online today.