Squint | iDrkavitha | Melaka

Squint /Strabismus

What is Strabismus?


Also known as a squint, strabismus is the condition in which the eyes do not point in the same direction. The condition may be present all the time, or only occur intermittently.
If a squint develops, it is important to find the cause and to treat the underlying cause. In children, it is very important to get treated as soon as possible because squint can affect the development of vision permanently. As their brain is still developing, it can turn off vision in the affected eye, and if left untreated, may result in the brain permanently turning off vision. If an adult develops squint they can get double vision because each eye is seeing a different picture.
 

Some of the risk factors for strabismus include:

  • Family history of strabismus

  • Refractive errors (the child may have difficulty focusing the eyes)

    • Short-sightedness

    • Long sightedness

    • Astigmatism

  • Children born prematurely, or with low weight at birth are at higher risk of developing a squint.

  • Cerebral palsy

  • Down syndrome (20-60% of these patients are affected)

  • Hydrocephalus 

  • Brain tumors

  • Stroke (the leading cause of strabismus in adults)

  • Head injuries, which can damage the area of the brain responsible for control of eye movement, the nerves that control eye movement, and the eye muscles

  • Neurological (nervous system) problems

  • Graves' disease 

 
What is the signs and symptoms of Strabismus?

  • Eyes are not looking at the same direction.

  • Lose of depth perception

  • Tilting the head to one side

  • Double vision (adults)

 
What an eye specialist can do for you?
 

Parent or GP may notice the the abnormality, however, an orthoptic assessment, which is a series of tests which are used to determine a person’s ability to use the eyes as a pair (binocular vision) need to be done to confirm the diagnosis and the degree of which the child eye and vision is affected. Strabismus is treated depending on root cause. Strabismus may more than one type of treatment or combination treatments for best vision results. Treatments require regular visits for eye examination to modify or adjust treatment depending on the progression of treatment or condition. Some of the most common ways to correct this condition are:

  • Glasses (A pair prescription glasses to correct the vision)

  • Eye Exercises (can be useful to strengthen the ability of the eyes to work together. This is usually helpful in older children and is commonly used together with glasses and/or surgery.)

  • Surgery (corrects the alignment of both eyes. Children may still need to wear glasses after the surgery.

 
Conclusion

 

Squint or strabismus may pose risk of long term term complication in children's vision if left untreated. Children with this condition require continuous support from the parent as much as they require regular treatment by an eye specialist. It is also possible that by not diagnosing strabismus, a serious problem (such as a brain tumor that is causing the condition) may be overlooked. If you suspect you child might have a squint, make sure to book an appointment to get it checked! Contact details here.​