Squint causes the eyes to either Diverge(Turn out), Converge (Turn in) apart from this, squint could also cause the eyes to turn up or down. It is a basic misalignment which could occur in any direction.
The condition of Strabismus can occur at any age and sometimes babies are born with it as well. It might be easier to detect squint in adolescent and pre-adolescents because they might complain about eye discomfort such as double vision. However, with newborns it is hard, you might need to consult an optometrist if there’s a suspicion of squint.
Although squint does not lead to any serious damage to the eyes a worldwide survey revealed that having a squint can affect the quality of life as follows:
What are the various categories of squint?
Squint is categorized into various types on the basis of direction of squinting eye:
CORRECTING AMBLYOPIA (LAZY EYE)
- Amblyopia correction is made by patching the good eye for few hours every day so as to equalize the vision in both eyes. This can be done before the age of 10.
CORRECTING REFRACTIVE ERRORS
- Some squints can by corrected by spectacles alone. Our specialist would guide you on the best solution.
- It involves operating on the eye muscles so as to align both the eyes together in all direction. One or more operations may be needed for cosmetic correction and creating the perfect vision and binocularity.
What are the Symptoms and signs of squint?
The typical symptoms that could signify a neuro-ophthalmological problem include:
Most obvious and common symptom of Squint is that two eyes always point in opposite directions. Some squint patients try to orient their heads and faces in a specific direction in which their eyes can be brought in required normal orientation. Some time the patents feel confusion and double vision. This eye condition some time causes poor vision, blurred vision as well as total blindness.
The primary sign of squint is that the eye is not straight. Then there could be faulty depth perception which could be present. It could also cause confusion or double vision in children.
Causes of Squint
How to tell if my Child has a squint?
Children are either born with a squint or develop it in early childhood. Most kids develop this condition between the ages of 1 to 4 and in rare cases up to the age of 6. Most of the times it is hard to tell in newborns as their eyes wander and cross occasionally during the first few months.
However, eyes should straighten out by 4 to 6 months.
Sometimes, however, it is very easy to spot a squint as the eyes will be pointing in very different directions. In addition to this, you could also notice a squinted eye(s) when kids focus on something close like a toy or a puzzle.
Eye squints produce very little discomfort barring the occasional double vision or blurry vision but sometimes, kids won’t understand it all. It is generally noticed by others such as relatives or a health care professional.
Types of Squint
The different types of squints are described by the way the eye turns. These can be categorized as follows:
Strabismus or squinting is a condition which is better treated early on in the life of the child. Previously, it was believed that beyond a certain time period (called critical time) strabismus was untreatable. However, with modern corrective techniques, squints can be treated at any time.
It is advisable however that you show up for constant eye checkups if you suspect your child may have squints, it becomes easier to correct it in early stages of life.
Symptoms of Strabismus(Squint)
Strabismus is one of those vision imperfections which could produce very little to no symptoms and it could also show a lot of symptoms. It is not easy to figure out whether or not a child has the vision impairment or not.
The most obvious and noticeable symptoms will include eyes not being perfectly aligned in a line. In addition to this, there are a few pointers on as to how to determine if the kid has a squint or not.
Diagnosing Eye Squints
Eye Squints are sometimes noticeable, but many a time there are very subtle and they can develop later on so, it is easier to get an eye check up and determine whether or not your child has it or not.
How to cure Squinting
Squinting eyes can give an individual a feeling of being different from others which might give young children self-doubt and over-sensitivity towards their appearance. Apart from the mental and psychological challenges, long-standing squints in the eye could hamper day-to-day activities like reading, driving etc and also could lead to some permanent visual impairments. Thus, it becomes essential to address this issue as soon as it is diagnosed.
Here are some corrective measures that can be used to cure squinting:
Eye exercise also called home-based pencil pushups (HBPP) can be done to improve the condition. Here are the steps to the exercise:
Benefits of the Surgery
Preparing for the Strabismus Surgery(Squint Surgery)
There will be a pre-operative assessment i.e. Pre-op. In the pre-op the doctors will make sure that you are fit for the surgery and doctors will be open to clarify any questions.
Doctors will assign you a time slot for the surgery and advise that you stop eating and drinking some time before the surgical procedure.
Manage your logistics of getting home because you will be able to go home the same day (outpatient). It is advisable to have someone drive you back from the hospital as you will be drowsy after the surgery.
Surgical Procedure for Correcting Strabismus (Squint) Surgery
During the surgical procedure to fix the squint in the eye:
After the Operation (Post-Op)
A pad is put over the treated eye after the operation.
After the operation, it is very likely that your eyes will be sore for some time (probably a few days). Your surgeon may provide you with some painkillers and eye-drops to ease the pain and discomfort.
The Doctors might ask you to attend a few follow-ups visits to check the progression of the correction. Do not hesitate to contact your health care professional if you start experiencing some severe or long-lasting effects from the surgery.
Risks involved the Surgery
Risks involved with the surgery include:
Dr. Shweta Jain
“Qualification:MBBS, DNB (Opthal)”
Dr. Rajiv Mohan
“Dr. Rajiv Mohan is a renowned ophthalmologist who has been instrumental in providing quality eye care and education in Northern India, both in private and charitable sectors. He received his medical degree from University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi in 1985 and Masters in Ophthalmology from Karnataka University in 1989. In 1990 he did his advanced medical training in the field of vitreo- retina from England and got his FRCS (Glasgow) in 2002. ”
Dr. Sanjiv Mohan
“Qualification: MBBS from SMS medical college Jaipur
MS from Dharwad university, Belgaum.
Trained for higher surgical training in Scotland U.K for 2 years.
Experience: Dr. Sanjiv Mohan has an experience of over 18 years as an Ophthalmologist”
Frequently Asked Questions
In advanced cases there is a complete loss of sight and lens becomes pearly white in colour.
If you experience any of the following issues, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor immediately:
- Cloudy or blurry vision
- Double vision (diplopia)
- Fading of colours
- Seeing halos around lights
- An increased sensitivity to glare
- A distortion of vision that makes objects appear as if you’re looking at them through a veil.
Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness, accounting for approximately 42 percent of all cases of blindness in all the countries, luckily its easily treatable in the present age through a simple surgery.
Some infants are also afflicted by cataract, which is caused as a result of infections during pregnancy. The disorder can also be a symptom of metabolic disease affecting the body’s processing of carbohydrates, amino acids, calcium or copper among infants and young kids. If left untreated, cataracts might also lead to blindness.
The eye may feel gritty, and sometimes you may experience some mild headache. These symptoms are common. The discomfort should rapidly improve over the next 24 hours. There should be no worsening of your symptoms. If your discomfort or a headache should deteriorate, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Your vision will normally be much better on Day 2. Sometimes there can be some blurring or misting in the eye, but this should improve over the course of the day. If you feel your vision is becoming more blurred, contact your hospital immediately.
If you take part in a sport that risks a poke in the eye, you should discuss returning to these activities with your surgeon before the operation. You should not go swimming for the first 2 to 4 weeks to minimize the risk of infection. When cycling in the first few weeks following surgery, keep your sunglasses on to reduce the impact of dust.
Jobs that are more physically demanding and involve exposure to liquids or dust might require a more graduated return to full activities, but are best discussed with your surgeon.
You may opt to choose for lenses which provide you vision for distance and near. In such cases, dependency on glasses is reduced.
Routine surgery can only correct the spherical component of the eye leaving behind the cylinder power which has to be later corrected by additional prescription glasses.
With advancements in surgical techniques and IOL (artificial lens) designs, today both spherical and cylinder components of the eye can easily be corrected with the highest precision.
The cylinder component in Cataract Surgery can be corrected by three ways
- LRI or Limbal Relaxing Incisions: In this technique, a Femto Laser is used to give highly precise incisions at the periphery of the cornea to induce cylinder correction. Since these incisions are given by a laser, it can only be coupled with a Femto Cataract Surgery.
- Toric Lenses with Verion Digital Axis Marking: Toric lenses are special lenses which have both cylinder, and spherical component build in one lens. Since cylinder axis varies in individual eyes, the lens has to be aligned to the specific axis of the individual. In such cases, even a minor deviation from the original axis can cause significant disturbance in final visual outcomes. Now with the introduction of Verion Digital Axis Marking system, these toric lenses can be aligned with outmost precision, up to 1 degree.
- Toric Lenses with Manual Marking: As discussed above, the final visual outcome in a toric lens depends on how precisely it is aligned to the original cylindrical axis of the eye. Since the manual markings cannot be as precise as digital markings, the manual system may give slightly inferior results compared to the digital system.