Sensory Deficits Introduction

Sensory deficits can lead to auditory or visual deprivation and affect the child's ability to interact with the environment. Cognitive, perceptive, communicative, and social skills may all be affected.

Vision disorders are common in children with the most prevalent problems of a refractive type (myopia or hyperopia) and others that include amblyopia, strabismus, cataracts, and glaucoma. Eye injury may occur as a result of trauma from blunt or sharp objects, or from infection resulting in conjunctivitis, keratitis, or even blindness or loss of the eye.

Auditory disorders are classified as conductive, sensorineural or mixed conductive-sensorineural hearing loss. Causes include damage to the inner ear structures or the auditory nerve from congenital defects, infection, ototoxic drugs, long-term excessive exposure to noises (sensorineural) or middle ear infection such as otitis media (conductive).

Hearing and vision screenings vary with the age of the infant/child and are performed as part of physical assessment of all children. Treatment focuses on the correction and rehabilitation of any actual or potential impairment.

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