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Wednesday / May 22.
HomemieyecareG&M Raising Funds for Cerebral Palsy

G&M Raising Funds for Cerebral Palsy

George & Matilda Eyecare is supporting Cerebral Palsy Alliance to raise funds and increase awareness of the impact that cerebral palsy (CP) can have on vision.

One in 700 children have CP. In most cases, CP is caused by an injury to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth, and is a permanent life-long condition.

People with cerebral palsy can experience a range of eye problems and visual complications, which can vary based on the severity and type of cerebral palsy

George & Matilda’s General Manager of Human Resources, Heather Campbell shared that over many years of research, Cerebral Palsy Alliance identified a connection between those diagnosed with CP and the ongoing support they need for their eye health.

“Because of this connection, George & Matilda Eyecare through the George & Matilda Community Foundation have partnered with Cerebral Palsy Alliance to raise awareness, funds and support for the benefactors of their work.”

Heather confirmed that George & Matilda would once again be participating in STEPtember across its support office and the 90+ practices – hoping to beat both the number of steps and funds raised from the 2022 efforts!

As part of the STEPtember challenge, people are encouraged to walk 10,000 steps a day while raising funds.

Impact on Vision

George & Matilda’s optometrist and Professional Services Manager (NSW), Dr Amira Howari said ‘one in 10 children with CP are blind and 75–90% of them have some degree of visual impairment’.

“People with CP can experience a range of eye problems and visual complications which can vary based on the severity and type of cerebral palsy”, Dr Howari said, “these include strabismus, nystagmus, refractive errors, amblyopia, ocular motor dysfunction, visual field deficits, and reduced visual acuity.”

Dr Howari went on to explain cortical visual impairment (CVI) is another significant visual impairment that arises due to damage or dysfunction in the brain’s visual processing centres, particularly the visual cortex.

“CVI in patients with cerebral palsy means that while the eyes themselves may be healthy and structurally intact, the brain has difficulty processing and interpreting visual information. This can result in a range of visual difficulties, including challenges with recognising objects, understanding spatial relationships, and perceiving the environment.”
“This is why it’s important for individuals with cerebral palsy to have regular eye examinations to detect and manage these issues early. Refractive visual correction, vision therapy and assistive devices can often help improve visual function and overall quality of life for individuals with these challenges,” she said.

Examination Challenges

Dr Howari said when examining patients with cerebral palsy, accommodation for easy accessibility to the clinic and consultation room must be taken into consideration enable and accommodate for mobility aids such as wheelchairs and/or walking aids.

Sufficient time should also be allocated to the eye examination to allow for patient comprehension levels and any mobility assistance required throughout the eye examination.

Funds raised during the STEPtember challenge by George & Matilda will be used on assistive technology. For further information visit Cerebral Palsy Alliance website at: cerebralpalsy.org.au/