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Strabismus (SQUINT)

Definition:

Squint is a misalignment of the two eyes so that both the eyes are not looking in the same direction. This misalignment may be constant, being present throughout the day, or it may appear sometimes and the rest of the time the eyes may be straight. It is a common condition among children. It may also occur in adults.

Causes:

  • The exact cause of squint is not really known.
  • The movement of each eye is controlled by six muscles. Each of these muscle acts along with its counterpart in the other eye to keep both the eyes aligned properly. A loss of coordination between the muscles of the two eyes leads to misalignment. This misalignment may be the same in all directions of gaze, (up, down, right, left) or in some conditions the misalignment may be more in one direction of gaze.
  • If a parent feels that a child’s eye appears to be deviating, they should consult the ophthalmologist immediately since any delay in treatment can cause permanent visual impairment.

Binocular vision and squint:

Under normal circumstances, when both the eyes have good vision and they are aligned properly, they focus on the same object. Each of the eyes sends picture of the same object, viewed from a slightly different angle. These two images reach the brain, where they are fused to form a single three-dimensional picture with depth perception. This is known as binocular single vision.

When the eyes are not aligned properly, each of the eyes is focusing on a different object and sends signal to the brain. These two different images reaching the brain lead to confusion and may have double vision or they tend to suppress the image from the weaker eye(amblyopia)

Treatment Options:

  • Glasses, if there are any underlying refractive errors.
  • Prims correction if required.
  • Surgery based on the type and magnitude of the squint.

The main idea of the treatment option is to restore the binocular vision.

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