Brain-related visual impairment may affect 1 in 30 children

19 March 2021

Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) – a term for a variety of brain-related visual problems previously thought to be rare – may affect one in 30 primary school children. 

University of Bristol researchers collected information on 2298 children aged five to 11 years. The results were published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology.

They invited over 10% of children for an assessment to identify those with visual problems suggestive of CVI. Eye chart tests can miss CVI if acuity is normal or near normal.

Vision problems suggestive of CVI (of which at least one was identified in 31.5% of children examined) included problems with eye movements, visual field, recognition of objects and seeing things in clutter.

Children being given extra educational help, were more likely to have brain-related vision problems.

Lead author Dr Cathy Williams explained: ‘[This may] suggest that attending to children’s visual needs, such as making things bigger or less cluttered, might be a good place to start.’

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