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Visual Impairment Aids

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Introduction

Some people severely affected by an Intellectual impairments like Down syndrome Hearing and vision disorders occur in more than half of people with . Vision problems occur in 38 to 80%. Between 20 and 50% have strabismus, in which the two eyes do not move together. Cataracts (cloudiness of the lens of the eye) occur in 15%, and may be present at birth. Keratoconus (a thin, cone-shaped cornea) and glaucoma (increased eye pressure) are also more common, as are refractive errors requiring glasses or contacts. Brushfield spots (small white or grayish/brown spots on the outer part of the iris) are present in 38 to 85% of individuals.

Hearing problems are found in 50–90% of children with Down syndrome. This is often the result of otitis media with effusion which occurs in 50–70% and chronic ear infections which occur in 40 to 60%. Ear infections often begin in the first year of life and are partly due to poor eustachian tube function. Excessive ear wax can also cause hearing loss due to obstruction of the outer ear canal. Even a mild degree of hearing loss can have negative consequences for speech, language understanding, and academics. Additionally, it is important to rule out hearing loss as a factor in social and cognitive deterioration. Age-related hearing loss of the sensorineural type occurs at a much earlier age and affects 10–70% of people with Down syndrome.

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