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
Glaucoma is an important cause of blindness in children. According to our investigations, 12-15 % of blind children suffer from glaucoma. Glaucoma is characterized by a progressive build-up of pressure inside the eyeball, which causes gradual, but permanent, eye damage. Our eyes are in the shape of a small ball, about 2 cm wide. Most of the eyeball is filled with fluid which slowly circulates; carrying nutrition to the various working parts of the eye and finally leaves through various channels into the blood. In children, due to some congenital defect, there is obstruction to the outflow of this fluid. Due to resulting accumulation of this fluid inside the eyeball, the pressure inside the eye begins to rise, and the sensitive inner surface of the eye is slowly squeezed cutting off its blood supply. Simultaneously the eyeball in the child starts stretching abnormally due to this pressure and appears larger in volume. Little by little, the eye is damages. Little by little, the gift of sight is lost-this is glaucoma. How to identify Glaucoma in a Child? The role of Parents. A child who is born with large eyes, with constant watering and does not open his/her eye in light (photophobia) may be suffering from congenital glaucoma. Sometimes these symptoms may not be prominent, and child may show other symptoms of defective vision like inability to follow accurately the direction of the sound, trying to see through half open eyes, repaid to and fro movements of the eyeball (nystagmus) and finally the child may comparatively less active for his age. Treatment of Glaucoma
• In the presence of all or some these symptoms, immediately take your child to any eye specialist.
• Get the rest of the children in the family also examined by an eye specialist.
• Usual treatment of glaucoma in children is some form of surgery. However any unnecessary delay can make the preservation of useful vision very difficult. A Child with large eyes may appear beautiful, but he may be heading towards blindness due to glaucoma
Take care of your child before it is too late!
What is Cataract?
The human eye functions like a camera. If the lens of the camera is soiled or smeared with grease, a very hazy picture will result. Cataract is clouding of a clear transparent lens inside the eye ball. This clouding prevents the image from being focus on the back of the eye. Cataract is the most important cause of blindness all over the world. Although it occurs commonly in old people, yet it can appear at any age. According to one of our surveys, 15-20% of blindness in children is because of cataract. What are the causes of cataract in children?
• Most of the times the cause of the cataract is not know.
• A child born to a mother who had rubella during the early part of her pregnancy may suffer from cataract. Such a child may not only become blind but may also be at risk of losing his life because of other rubella related problems like congenital heart disease etc. Consequently all children born with cataract must also be examined by a child specialist.
• Other important causes of cataract in children are hereditary factors and injury. How to identify cataract in your child?
• The appearance of a white spot in one or both eyes.
• Sometimes this may not be very prominent, and child may show other symptoms of defective vision like inability to follow accurately the direction of the sound, rapid to and fro movements of the eyeball (nystagmus) and finally the child may be comparatively less active for his/her age.
• Sometimes the child may present with squint. Treatment and prevention of cataract in children
• Since cataract can run in families, the rest of the children in your family should also be examined by an eye specialist.
• All girls above 12 years of age should have vaccination against Rubella.
• The practice of interfamily marriages where hereditary diseases are prevalent needs to be discourages.
• Please protect your child against eye trauma.
• The only cure for cataract is early operations. This involves removal of cataract followed by implantation of an intra-ocular lens (IOL). If an IOL is not implanted then the child will have to wear thick glasses for the rest of his/her life.
• Remember! The surgery for cataract in a child can be performed at any stage, but it gives useful results only it is carried out as early as possible.
• Remember! Take your child to a well equipped hospital where the eye specialist has the required training in child eye surgery. Pediatric Ophthalmology unit at Al-Shifa Trust eye Hospital has all the facilities for this purpose.
Cataract is completely treatable; your child can see again