Pediatric Neuro-Ophthalmology

pp 213-252


Transient, Unexplained, and Psychogenic Visual Loss in Children

  • Michael C. BrodskyAffiliated withProfessor of Ophthalmology and Neurology, Mayo Clinic

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Some children have visual disturbances that occur in the absence of, or are out of proportion to, their objective ophthalmological findings. These symptoms reflect a wide range of processes that may be benign or a sign of neurological, systemic, or psychiatric disease. This chapter deals with the neuro-ophthalmologic detection of organic and psychogenic disorders that may manifest as transient or unexplained visual loss of the same episodic visual disturbances that occur in childhood, but several formidable problems confront the physician who is trying to reach the correct diagnosis. The descriptions of episodic visual disturbances and hallucinations in children are less complex in detail than those of the adult population because children have limited vocabulary and limited experiential basis of sensory phenomenon to draw upon.