Strabismus or squint refers to the condition of misalignment of the eyes. While one eye looks straight the other eye may turn outwards, inwards, upwards or downwards. At times, this misalignment occurs only occasionally with the eyes remaining aligned most of the time. This is termed as intermittent squint as opposed to constant squint which is present all the time.

Squint may be present at birth or may develop a few months after birth (known as a congenital or infantile squint) while some may develop a squint later in life(known as acquired squint).

Strabismus can be caused by genetic or hereditary factors but many-a-times the exact reason for squint is not known. Acquired squints may be caused by the eye attempting to overcome a vision problem, such as shortsightedness or farsightedness or because of poor vision in one eye causing lazy eye and squint to manifest. Squint may also be caused due to paralysis or weakness of the nerves which control the eye muscles responsible for movements. These squints are termed as paralytic squints.

squint

skwɪnt/

noun

"An Abnormal alignment of the eyes which can be treated…"

squint

skwɪnt/

noun

"An Abnormal alignment of the eyes which can be treated…"

Strabismus or squint refers to the condition of misalignment of the eyes. While one eye looks straight the other eye may turn outwards, inwards, upwards or downwards. At times, this misalignment occurs only occasionally with the eyes remaining aligned most of the time. This is termed as intermittent squint as opposed to constant squint which is present all the time.

Squint may be present at birth or may develop a few months after birth (known as a congenital or infantile squint) while some may develop a squint later in life(known as acquired squint).

Strabismus can be caused by genetic or hereditary factors but many-a-times the exact reason for squint is not known. Acquired squints may be caused by the eye attempting to overcome a vision problem, such as shortsightedness or farsightedness or because of poor vision in one eye causing lazy eye and squint to manifest. Squint may also be caused due to paralysis or weakness of the nerves which control the eye muscles responsible for movements. These squints are termed as paralytic squints.

Management of strabismus starts with a detailed eye examination and good cycloplegic refraction to first treat any underlying eye disease and uncorrected refractive errors. Eye exercises may be required for certain squints especially in people who have developed amblyopia (Lazy eye) due to the squint.

Some patients require corrective surgery on the eye muscles to improve alignment and develop binocular vision. Some paralytic squints may be transient and resolve when the nerve heals and such individuals may be helped by the use of specialised prism glasses to align the eyes.

Most squints in children need to be assessed and managed as soon as possible to ensure vision development without any risk of amblyopia.

This in turn improves the chances of successful treatment ultimately leading to good stereopsis (3D vision). If treatment was not received in childhood, most squints can also be corrected later in life and there is no age limit for the same.

Management of strabismus starts with a detailed eye examination and good cycloplegic refraction to first treat any underlying eye disease and uncorrected refractive errors. Eye exercises may be required for certain squints especially in people who have developed amblyopia (Lazy eye) due to the squint.

Some patients require corrective surgery on the eye muscles to improve alignment and develop binocular vision. Some paralytic squints may be transient and resolve when the nerve heals and such individuals may be helped by the use of specialised prism glasses to align the eyes.

Most squints in children need to be assessed and managed as soon as possible to ensure vision development without any risk of amblyopia.

This in turn improves the chances of successful treatment ultimately leading to good stereopsis (3D vision). If treatment was not received in childhood, most squints can also be corrected later in life and there is no age limit for the same.

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