What is Squint?
Squint or turned eye is a condition in which the two eyes are not straight or aligned. One eye may turn in, turn out or turn up while the other eye remains straight. Squint may be on one side or may alternate between the two eyes.
What are the Causes of Squint?
A squint may be inherited, and may run in families. Sometimes the condition is due to the eyes not being able to focus properly due to need for eyeglasses or occasionally, to some muscle abnormality. Very rarely, it may be due to a serious abnormality inside the eye, such as cataract or tumor.
What happens to sight in eyes with squint?
• Defective binocular vision results in loss of depth perception.
• The vision in the turned eye may be lost due to variety of reasons.
• A child is born with straight eye, but one eye turns in or out at about 2 years of age. If this condition is not treated urgently, vision may be reduced in the deviated eye. If treatment is begun immediately, however, good vision can often be restored. The eyes have an unequal focus. If one eye is way out of focus compared to the other, the brain may ignore the image from that eye. This prevents development of normal vision in the affected eye a condition called amblyopia or lazy eye.
• Sometimes the child with squint sees double. To compensate for this he develops the habit of looking with abnormal head posture-a situation which may result in psycho-social problems Treatment of Squint The aim of treatment is to restore good vision to each eye and good binocular vision. It usually includes patching the eye that is always straight to bring the vision up to normal in the squinting eye. Glasses may be needed, particularly for eyes that have defective focus. Glasses may also help straighten the eyes. Surgery on the eye muscles is sometimes necessary. The results of treatment are good but depend on how quickly treatment is begun. If treatment is unduly delayed, vision may not be restored. Do not delay if you child has squint. Seek advice of an eye specialist. Early management of squint in your child can help to save his vision