Squint is an eye condition where your child’s eyes don’t point in one direction. Since the eyes are misaligned, squint leads to difficulties in clear vision and 3D image creation in the brain. Parents often have the misconception that children grow out of squints – “it will normalise as he/she grows older’’. It’s important to take the eye condition seriously and consult an eye specialist to assess the squint and the eyesight.
What causes the squint?
There can be different reasons for a squint. For some, squints run in families and may occur during the first few months of a child’s life. A weak or an abnormal eye muscle can also cause squint. In many cases, when kids suffer from uncorrected farsightedness, they have a focusing problem and the effort in focusing to see clearly may lead to a squint. Very rarely, a squint can be caused due to abnormalities in the eyes or eye nerves.
These early years are the time when a child’s vision is developing rapidly. If one eye isn’t used properly because of a squint, vision in that eye will not develop. The earlier this is detected, the sooner treatment can be started.
How does a squint affect your child?
- He/she may develop a lazy eye which can lead to long-term poor sight in that eye
- He/she may lose binocular vision
- It can spoil one’s appearance
How is a squint treated?
Even though there are a number of methods to treat squint, especially when detected early on in the child’s life, squint treatment is an ongoing treatment and requires proactive monitoring from parents’ end as well.
- When the child is suffering from farsightedness, glasses are prescribed to fix the focussing error. Your child has to wear the glasses regularly, so that the eye specialist can assess the impact of the glasses on the squint and eyesight. It’s been found that wearing glasses can reduce the size of the squint and straighten the eyes. However, in cases where glasses are taken off after a period of time, the squint is likely to reappear. Hence, it’s important for your child to wear the glasses all the time as it will have a long-term impact on the squint.
- In many cases patching is used to improve the vision of the affected eye. By covering the good eye with a sticky patch, the weak eye is forced to work harder to see the nearby things. Patching can produce positive results when it comes to reducing the size of the squint.
- Squint eye operation is done for two reasons mainly – to reduce the size of the squint and improve the appearance, and to realign the eyes. If your child has been wearing glasses before the squint eye operation, he/she has to continue wearing it after surgery. If the vision in the affected eye becomes lazy again after the treatment, he/she may need another round of patching treatment. As a parent, you must understand that squint eye operation isn’t an alternative to patching treatment or glasses. To know more about squint operation details such as after care procedures or squint eye operation cost, get in touch with us.
We offer a wide range of pediatric ophthalmology services which include treatment for pediatric squint, pediatric glaucoma and pediatric cataract.