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Squint

What is Squint?

Also known as strabismus, this is a condition in which there is a problem in the alignment between the eyes. While one eye focuses on the spot, the other one turns in other direction, either inwards, outwards, upwards, downwards etc. This is however not a permanent condition and the eyes can be straightened at any age. It usually occurs due to the incorrect balance of muscles, refractive error, childhood illnesses, nerve palsy and several other reasons.

squint eye treatment and surgery

Different Types of Squint

  • Hypertropia is when the eye turns upwards
  • Hypotropia is when the eye turns downwards
  • Esotropia is when the eye turns inwards
  • Exotropia is when the eye turns outwards

Childhood Squint

If squint is present in the child, its obvious right from the very beginning when there is no alignment between the two eyes. Children usually have one eye closed or their heads turned away when looking at you if they have squint. Something called "Pseudo Squint' is also present due to a wide gap between the eyes, flat nose bridge where the reason between misalignment is not usually squint.

The Causes for Squint are

  • Congenital Squint - The children suffering from this version of squint are born with it though it’s not obvious for weeks. A strong family history is yet present for squint
  • Hypermetropia - The child develops a double vision because he puts an extra effort to focus on a spot. In order to avoid this condition the image in one eye is unconsciously suppressed. As a result the child stops using the eye and in due course of time the eye turns into a lazy eye.
  • Injury to the nerves
  • Family History
  • Prolonged Illness
  • A lesion on a cranial nerve
  • Myopia, or short-sightedness
  • Hypermetropia, or long-sightedness
  • Astigmatism, where the cornea is not curved properly

Diagnosis And Treatment

In case the children are diagnosed with squint, they need to go for regular eye checks ups. Once detected with signs of strabismus, the child is referred to an ophthalmologist who uses eye drops to dilate the pupils before the test is done.

The Hirschberg Test

Also known as the corneal reflex test, it is used to assess whether the patient has strabismus. The doctor in this test shines a light on the eye to check whether the light reflects from cornea or not. In case of proper alignment, the light reflects from the center of both corneas and if not then the test is declared positive for strabismus.

Treatment Options

GLASSES

Glasses are recommended when the patient is suffering from long sightedness.

EYE PATCH

The eye patch is worn over the correct eye so that the eye detected with squint can be brought in proper alignment

BOTOX

A Botulinum toxin injection is injected into the muscle on the surface of the eye when the signs of squint appear suddenly without any apparent reasons.

EYE DROPS AND EXERCISES

These can also be suggested to bring the eye into the right alignment

"A new born baby could have a squint-eye or could develop one as he/she comes off a school-going age."