Congenital Blindness occurs when a baby is born unable to see. Treatment options are usually limited, and most babies born blind are never able to see. However, blindness rarely prevents people from leading fully productive professional and social lives. There is growing evidence linking the use of SSRI antidepressants, pain medications, and other medications during pregnancy to a greater risk of having a baby with congenital blindness. Many women whose babies have been injured by these medications are now taking action against the drug companies.
Do I Have a Congenital Blindness Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressant, pain medication, or other medicine during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Congenital Blindness lawsuit.
Congenital Blindness Overview
Congenital blindness means that the child is born unable to see. This can be a very difficult diagnosis for parents, because it may be hard to imagine raising a child who cannot see. A child who is blind may need specialized education that focuses on using the child’s senses of touch, hearing, taste, and even smell to learn. Blind children can use braille to read books, listen to audio books. They may also use a guide dog to help when they are performing daily errands. Research has found that children born blind have a lot of activity in the part of the brain normally reserved for vision — they use this part of the brain to “see” the world they experience with other senses.
Congenital blindness can be caused by many things. These include: a physical defect in the eyes, abnormality in the brain, certain infections the mother developed while pregnant, an inherited genetic condition, or injury during childbirth.
Medications linked to Congenital Blindness
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Pain Medication / Cough Medicine:
- Some Cough Medication
Signs & Symptoms of Congenital Blindness
Parents often suspect that their baby has a vision problem within a few weeks of birth, when the child appears less responsive than other babies, or responds mostly to auditory stimulation instead of visual stimulation. It may be difficult to bond with the child, because he or she does not react to smiling and facial expressions.
Symptoms a parent can watch out for:
- Child is unable to fix his or her eyes on a close object
- Has random eye movements
- Does not smile by the age of 6 weeks
- Has abnormally large, clouded eyes if glaucoma is present
If the parent does not notice that the child is blind, a physician will probably notice it during the baby’s first examinations.
How to Play with a Blind Baby
The world can be very scary for a blind baby, because people seem to “appear” to interact with them, and suddenly disappear. They don’t understand spacial relationships and depth in the world around them. It may be helpful for caregivers to talk when they are coming close, and walking away, so the baby can begin thinking of the world in spacial dimensions.
Blind babies learn through touching, listening, smelling, and eating. They benefit from playing with things of different temperatures and textures, eating different types of food, and listening to music.
Blind babies often lag behind in motor development, because they don’t understand they they can crawl to move through space. Parents can help exercise a baby by propping him or her up on a pillow, sitting in a bouncy chair, or holding noisy toys that encourage the child to use his or her hands to reach for the object.
Treatment & Prognosis
About 90% of children considered blind from birth actually have some vision, though it may be limited to recognizing light from dark and vague shapes. Treatment is usually only an option for a small number of babies that are blind because of cataracts or glaucoma, using surgery to drain the fluid that has accumulated in the eye.
For most children, treatment involves minimizing the complications and maximizing the other senses. As the child grows, he or she will need a team of specialists to help him or her learn and perform daily activities. Parents can also learn how to stimulate the child’s development using speech, sounds, and touch to help the child safely navigate through the home.
The long-term prognosis for blind children is good. Most children who have no other disabilities go on to have productive professional lives and active relationships with other people. There are special schools, social groups, and an active global community of people who are blind. There have also been recent advances in gene-therapy techniques that show some effectiveness at treating congenital blindness shortly after birth.
Do I Have a Congenital Blindness Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Congenital Blindness lawsuit review.