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What is

Squint?

A Squint or strabismus is a common eye disorder seen in children and many adults. In this condition, the eyes point in a different direction. This can be a temporary or permanent problem and should be corrected as it can create further vision problems. Squints are generally observed in people with poor eye muscle control such as children. The problem may occur in one eye or both in turn.

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In very small children or babies, squints may be common and are normal and should correct on their own. However, if you notice that your child is keeping only one eye open or turning their head to one side to focus, then you must take them to a professional ophthalmologist for examination. Squint in adulthood needs to be corrected.

Squint is usually diagnosed by an eye examination and can be treated with eyeglasses, eye exercises or surgery. If corrected in time and by expert eye-doctors, squint can restore the visual appeal of the face as well as prevent further problems that can happen if the condition persists. It can be difficult to prevent squints, but the patient will show signs and symptoms that there is a problem. Uncorrected squints can cause further problems such as:

  • 1. Blurred or double vision.
  • 2. Development of Lazy eye or Amblyopia- a condition in children that prevents the development of normal vision.
  • 3. Low confidence due to problems in a person’s looks and social stigma associated with the problem.

Squint are classifies as follows:

  • When the eye turns inwards it is called Esotropia, while outwards it is called Exostropia.
  • Upward turned eye is called Hypertropia while downward turned eye condition is named Hypotropia.
  • Frequency of the problem, i.e., continuous or intermittent.
  • Unilateral when only one eye is involved and alternating when both eyes are involved in an alternating manner.
 

Causes

It is difficult to trace the root cause of the problem. However, it is noticed that some children are born with a squint while others develop one later in life. It can also be a hereditary problem. Squints can also be caused in children having other vision problems such as:

  • Short-sightedness, where patient cannot see objects that are far away.
  • Long-sightedness, where patient cannot see objects that are close.
  • Astigmatism which is characterized by blurry vision due to unusual curvature of the front of the eye.
  • Infectious diseases such as chicken pox or measles.
  • Down’s syndrome.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Other genetic conditions or very rarely eye cancer called retinoblastoma.
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At Orbit eye hospital, our professional eye doctors are equipped to perform examinations and tests to determine the cause of a squint. Using the information obtained from these tests our optometrists can determine if you have a squint and discuss proper treatment options. Visit us today if you notice any of these problems.