What is Squint?
Squint is a misalignment of the eye where the two eyes are pointed towards different directions. The misalignment may be constant for a few, while it may be intermittently occurring for some others. The deviation of the eye may be in any direction – inward, outward, upward or downward. If the child is not treated at the appropriate time, a condition called Amblyopia (lazy eyes ) occurs, which eventually leads to permanent loss of vision.
Causes of Squint
-> Weakness of the eye muscles or problem with the nerves in the eye muscles
-> Blurred or poor vision caused due to cataract, corneal scars, glaucoma, refractive errors, optic nerve disease, retinal disease, tumors of the eye etc.
Symptoms of Squint
-> One eye or both eyes point to different directions
-> Children can have defective vision in one eye or both eyes
-> Children with squint, sometimes close one eye in bright sunlight
-> Some children turn their face or tilt their head in a specific direction in order to use their eyes together Children sometimes experience double vision or confusion
-> Squint due to refractive errors is corrected by prescribing suitable spectacles. Amblyopia treated with occlusion therapy.
-> Surgical treatment is given to the child based upon the improvement in vision by spectacles correction and patching therapy. The misaligned eyes can be straightened through surgery.
-> In this surgery, the muscles are detached from their original insertion and shifted to a different spot. The amount of shift is based on the measurement done with special prisms.
-> Stay in the hospital is only for a day.
-> Treatment does not stop with surgery. Glasses may have to be continued to maintain clarity of vision. Patching therapy may be needed to be continued for some time after the surgery.
-> Squint is not a sign of good luck. It affects your child's vision and appearance.
-> Loss of vision is preventable in children if squint is treated as early as possible, preferably before 2 years of age.
-> As the child grows older, it becomes more difficult to treat squint and regain the lost vision. However, cosmetically straightening the eye is possible at any age.