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Will my daughter have clear vision?

Q: My 2.5 months old daughter was having 3 loops of cord around her neck at birth. Her sugar level was very low and she got infection too. She suffered hypoglycaemic-hypoxic injury to her brain. We got an MRI test done which shows injuries in the parietal and occipital lobes of brain. Now she is having a problem of fits too for, which she is taking Gardinal and Epilex. But we are more concerned about her vision. She has not started fixing her eyes yet. She follows the light of mobile phones and has perception of sunlight but doesn’t follow any object or toy and neither looks towards our faces. However she smiles when we talk to her. When we bring anything in front of her eyes she doesn't pay any attentionShould we take her for an eye test? Will this test only tell about her vision or offer us any solution too? As there is an injury to her brain (vision lobes), what are the chances of her having a normal eyesight? Is there any solution to this problem?

A:It is unfortunate to read about your child’s illness. The parieto-occipital lobes of the newborn brain are very vulnerable to hypoglycaemia and to lack of oxygen and blood supply. The occipital lobes are higher centres for vision- what the eyes see is sent as signals to these lobes where the images are received and interpreted. In very simple language, the eyes may be perfectly normal, but if the occipital lobes are damaged, the data will not be received, analysed and interpreted. The child will behave as if he can’t see. But, depending upon the extent of damage, I can give you hope that the child’s vision will show improvement, as the other brain areas and secondary visual areas take over some of the functions. But complete normalcy is unlikely. Secondly, the convulsions should appropriately be treated. I would like you to be aware that a number of these children may develop fits, which may be subtle and could be missed if you are not watchful. Look for frequent eye blinking, head jerks, or sudden bending forward, (like a sudden shock). These often would occur when the child wakes up from sleep or is drowsy. If this happens, consult your neurologist. Thirdly, you should get the child assessed for her development, and appropriate exercises and intervention should be started.

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