What is squint (strabismus)?
Squint is a misalignment of the two eyes so that both the eyes are not looking in the same direction. This misalignment may be constant, being present throughout the day, it can also be intermittent.
What causes squint?
The movement of each eye is controlled by six muscles. Each of these muscle acts along with its counterpart in the other eye to keep both the eyes aligned properly. A loss of coordination between the muscles of the two eyes leads to misalignment.
Sometimes a refractive error hypermetropia (long sight) may also lead to inward deviation of the eye.
What are the problems with squint?
When the eyes are not aligned properly, each of the eyes is focusing on a different object and sends signal to the brain. These two different images reaching the brain lead to confusion and may have either of the two effects:
- A child would ignore the image coming from the deviated eye, and thus sees only one image, so the squinting eye become lazy and lose vision.
- An adult can not ignore the image from either eye, and therefore has double vision. This can be very annoying and may interfere with work.
What are the symptoms of squint?
In a child, the parents may notice the deviation of eyes. Therefore squint in any child who is more than one month old must be taken seriously and should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist. Adults may notice double vision, or misalignment of the eyes.
What is occlusion theraphy?
Occlusion therapy is a very important part of squint treatment. In this therapy the non squinting eye is patched, so that vision in squinting eye can be stimulated.
Why should squint be corrected at the earliest?
If not corrected at an early age squint can lead to lazy eye, because the squinting eye does not see the image so the stimulation is not provided to retina, which can lead to permanent reduction of vision.
What is the treatment for squint?
The aims of treatment of squint in order of importance are:
- Preserve or restore vision
- Straighten the eyes
- Restore binocular vision
Surgery for squint has now become minimally invasive with the advent of Fornix based incision. The purpose of surgery is to align the eyes, so that both eyes can focus on same image simultaneously,
- for this purpose a method of recession resection is used.
- surgery for squint is like balancing a weighing balance either the squinting eye muscle can be resected to restore balance or non squinting eye can be recessed.
- Generally minimal rest is required after surgery but some redness can remain for some day.
What are the precautions after squint surgery?
Generally the patient can resume its routine activities immediately after surgery.