Even though it is a little late than usual of me giving out information about cerebral palsy. I truly apologize. I really was having a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to talk about during national cerebral palsy awareness month. I finally made a decision. I decided to talk about some associated medical conditions that accompany cerebral palsy.
Well, you guys already know that epilepsy is one of the few associated medical conditions that go hand in hand with this medical disorder. The focus of this post will be about vision impairments and how it relates to cerebral palsy.
It is very common for a child or an adult to have vision impairments. It can affect them cognitively and affects how he or she interprets what he or she is seeing.
Visual acuity applies to the clearness of a person’s vision. If they do not have perfect visual acuity, it can affect them in various ways that relate to their daily living. Poor vision can affect a child’s learning ability, social interactions, and their overall self- esteem.
Some complications of having vision impairments are:
- Behavior problems.
- An inability to read and write.
- An inability to understand surroundings.
- An inability to learn.
- Accidents from the inability to properly navigate his or her surroundings.
There are many types of vision impairments that can be seen in children and adults with cerebral palsy such as:
- Strabismus: Vision impairment in which a person cannot align both eyes together during normal conditions.
- Esotropia: This is a form of strabismus in which one or both of the eyes is turned inward.
- Exotropia: This is a form of strabismus in which one or both of the eyes is turned outward.
- Accommodative esotropia: The inward turning of the eye due to hyperopia when a person is focusing on an object.
- Hypertropia: This is a form of strabismus in which one or both of the individual’s eyes moves upward.
- Hypotropia: This is a type of strabismus in which one or both of the individual’s eyes move downward.
- Astigmatism: A curvature in your eye that usually causes blurred vision.
- Nearsightedness (hyporopia).
- Farsightness (hyperopia).
- Presbyopia: A condition in which the lens of the eye loses its ability to focus.
- Hemianopsia: Blindness or reduction in one half of the visual field. This usually occurs in people have suffered a stroke and who have hemiplegia.
Some symptoms of vision impairments can include: frequent headaches, covering an eye while reading, disorganized writing display, holding reading material or picture books up close, moving his or her head instead of the eyes back and forth to read, poor hand- eye coordination, turning his or her head to use one eye, using a finger to keep his or her place, underdeveloped speech and vocabulary, and written words placed outside of writing lines.
In order to treat vision impairment in people with cerebral palsy, the medical professional can provide eyeglasses that can correct the person’s particular impairment, the person can perform eye exercises, using an eye patch over the affected eye, and surgery.
Yesterday, I went to the doctor and went through a multitude of tests. I was at the doctor’s office for two hours trying to find out the diagnosis and treatment for my eyes. I thought it was going to be a routine annual eye exam. Very short and simple, right? It turned out totally different. The opthalmologist had to check my optic nerves, vision, and other things had to be done. At the end of the visual exam, I was told by the doctor that I had alternating intermittent esotropia which means both of my eyes turn inward when I focus on an object. In addition to that, I am farsighted with astigmatism and presbyopia. It was a lot to take in. At least it isn’t bad. I still function in everyday life with no limitations. I’m still fabulous. That’s all I have to say. This doesn’t think of me any less or tear me down. It makes me push my limits and become better.
Be proud. Be fearless. Be strong.
No medical condition defines you. It enhances you. Remember that. Keep pushing and stay strong and positive.