VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

How Does the Human Eye Work?

The eye is a complex organ designed to catch light, focus it and then send messages to the brain to allow us to see our surroundings.  In many ways, the eye is like a camera.  In a camera, a lens focuses an image onto a piece of film.  In the eye, a lens focuses light onto the retina, a thin layer of light-sensitive cells in the back of the eye.  The retina’s cells then convert the light into nerve impulses which travel along the optic nerve.  The optic nerve relays these impulses from the eye to the brain, which processes the signals to create an image that we “see.”

What are the Basic Causes of Visual Impairment?

Visual impairment is a condition in which a person experience partial or total vision loss.  Visual impairments can be the result of damage to the eye, optic nerve, or areas of the brain that process eyesight.  Such damage can be the result of injuries or infections to the eye.  Certain injuries to the brain can also result in vision loss.  Finally, genetic diseases can also result in visual impairments.

What Causes Visual Impairments in Infants?

Some infants are born with congenital blindness, a genetic birth defect.  However, in some cases, visual impairments can be the result of infections during pregnancy.  Moreover, complications during labor, such as a lack of oxygen to the fetus, can result in brain damage.  If the brain damage affects areas of the brain that control eyesight, then the child may experience either partial or total loss of vision.

What are Common Eye Diseases?

Ambloyopia is a visual impairment that results when a person has reduced vision in one eye.  Commonly referred to as “lazy eye,” the condition is the result of not using one eye during childhood.  Cataracts are another form of eye disease and occur when an eye’s lens becomes cloudy.  Some infants are born with cataracts.  The condition is usually fixed through surgery.  Diabetic retinopathy is the result of damaged blood vessels in the retina as a result of diabetes.  The condition can lead to blindness.  Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve.  Some infants can be born with the condition.  Macular degeneration is an eye disease that results in the deterioration of the retina.  Finally, trachoma is a severe eye infection that causes the eye to become extremely inflamed.  It often occurs in developing nations and can lead to blindness.

How Can Gallivan & Gallivan Help?

If your child suffered from a birth injury that lead to blindness or partial loss of vision, our firm may be able to help.  We will thoroughly investigate your claim.  If your child’s injuries were the result of malpractice, we will recover compensation from those responsible.

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