Squint In Children

When a child has a Squint (Strabismus), the eyes do not look in the same direction some of the time, or all of the time. Sometimes, strabismus is very noticeable. Other times, it might only be noticed when a child is tired or looking at something very closely. Squints are common and affect about 1 in 20 children. When eyes don't line up together, the straight or straighter eye becomes dominant. The vision strength (acuity) of this eye stays normal because the eye and its connection to the brain are working as they should. The misaligned or weaker eye, though, doesn't focus as it should and its connection to the brain doesn't form correctly.

Strabismus usually can be fixed when found and treated early. If it's not treated, the brain eventually will ignore the visual images of the weaker eye. This change called as Amblyopia or Lazy Eye can make vision blurry, cause double vision, and harm a child's depth perception (seeing in 3D). These problems can become permanent if they're not treated. Children with strabismus and amblyopia (lazy eye) must be identified and treated at a young age to obtain the best chances of restoring normal visual acuity in the presence of amblyopia and/or constant strabismus.

Regular eye exams are the best way to detect strabismus. Early diagnosis and treatment better a child's chances of having straight eyes and developing good vision and depth perception. But older kids and teens (and even many adults with strabismus) can still benefit from treatment. Also keep in mind the social aspect to strabismus. Aligned eyes are important for a healthy self-image in adults and kids.

Treatment for strabismus may include

Occlusion Therapy
Amblyopia Management
Eye Muscle Surgery

If eyeglasses, eye patching, and/or atropine drops can't fix a child's strabismus, eye muscle surgery might be needed. Surgery involves loosening or tightening the muscles that cause the eye to wander. Most kids can go home the same day of surgery.

Some of the common myths related to Squint are as under:

Squint must be corrected only in Adulthood Squint Must be tackled as early as it is noticed for best results
Squint can be corrected only by surgery. Many treatment options as available for different types of squint like glasses, prisms, amblyopia therapy, orthoptic exercises etc.
With the usage of glasses, gradually the refractive error goes away It does Not