If you have noticed that your child has a squint, seek medical attention immediately. Squint is more than just a cosmetic issue. It’s a vision-threatening disorder that must be addressed as soon as detected. Correcting squint will not only improve your child’s appearance, boost their self-esteem, and save them from bullying, it will save their vision.
What is squint?
Squint is a visual disorder characterized by misalignment of the eyes; the left and the right eyes point in different directions so they are not looking at the same object. In some cases, the direction may be inward (converging), outward (diverging), or even upward or downward. Other layman’s terms include crossed eyes, wall eye, or misalignment of the eyes. The clinical term for this disorder is strabismus.
Who develops strabismus?
Strabismus affects 3 to 4 percent of children globally. Some develop squint after they are born with it (congenital strabismus). If your child appears to have a squint, it is important to get their eyes tested and treated. If left untreated, the affected eye may develop into amblyopia or lazy eye, which could further lead to permanent vision loss. Adults may develop squints, too. It can happen to anyone at any age.
What are the symptoms of strabismus?
It’s easy to "see" if someone has a squint or not, as the symptoms are visible to the eye. Symptoms may include:
Eyes that do not move together
Poor depth perception
What causes strabismus?
Strabismus may be caused by a number of things.
In some people, it is caused by poor eye muscle control. Each eye has six external muscles working together so that both eyes can look at the same object. If these muscles do not work as they should, this results in one eye looking at one object and the other eye on another object.
Strabismus may also be caused by problems in the control system in the brain that is responsible for directing eye movements.
Diseases or injuries such as glaucoma, optic nerve disease, tumor of the eye, cataract and corneal scar can also cause strabismus.
Is treatment necessary?
Some people think that children will outgrow squints. According to Dr. Amjad Khokhar, chief ophthalmologist at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center in Houston, Texas, this is not true. The only way a child can "outgrow" strabismus is through treatment. Treating strabismus as soon as it is detected is crucial to preserving one’s vision, realigning the eyes, and restoring binocular vision.
There are many kinds of treatment available for squint. After a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will prescribe the best treatment for you or your child’s case. Treatment options include eye exercises, glasses, and surgery.
Can LASIK treat strabismus?
LASIK cannot be used to solve a strabismus problem. Strabismus requires surgery to the eye muscles, while laser surgery corrects refractive errors.
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com.
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.