Treatment Options for Squint Correction - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India
Health Education

Treatment Options for Squint Correction

Dr.Renu Grover profile Authored by Dr.Renu Grover on 17 Jul 2014 - 12:12.

Squint

Squint or Strabismus is a misalignment of the two eyes. In this condition, both the eyes do not look in the same direction at the same time. Normally, eyes move in parallel direction, but in the case of squint, one eye points in the direction in which the person is looking and the other eye turns inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards.

Squint also known as crossed eyes, can be corrected effectively at an early age. There are various options for treating a squint depending on the individual’s case. Let's learn more about correcting squint, through various options from our renowned Dr. Renu Grover, MBBS, MS (Ophthalmology), FICO, FESA, Consultant at Center for Sight Hospital, New Delhi.

  • What are the problems of squint?

The problems of squint are many:

  • It causes cosmetic and associated psychological problems.
  • The squinting eye is used less often and the brain tends to neglect the image from that eye leading to Amblyopia or Lazy Eye. This causes decreased vision. If the squint is not treated on time, the vision can be permanently cut off in that eye by the brain.
  • Also, constant squint reduces the development of binocularity and depth perception –which are required for various activities like driving, sports etc.
     
  • Who gets a squint? Is it genetic?

Squint is more common in children than in adults. However, squint can occur at any age. Yes, squint could also be genetic ie. if the parents or the grandparents have squint, the chances of the child getting a squint are higher.

  • What are the reasons that cause a squint?

Being long sighted (or less commonly, short sighted) can cause the eyes to develop a squint. Long sightedness causes the eyes to turn inwards. Sometimes squint may develop when the eyes compensate for other vision problems such as cataract.

Other factors that increase the child’s risk for squint are: illnesses that affect the muscles and nerves, premature birth, a head injury, certain brain disorders such as Cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, Brain tumours etc.

  • Can squint be corrected?

Yes, squint can be fully corrected in most circumstances. There is no age bar for correcting squint. However, the earlier it is treated, the more beneficial it is.

  • What are the different types of squint?

The various types of squint can broadly be described as:

  • Horizontal squints: in which the eyes are either turned inwards or outwards
  • Vertical /Rotational squints: in which the eyes are aligned upwards/downwards and may be associated with head postures (head tilting)
  • Nerve palsies: in which the squint causes the inability of the eye to move in certain directions.
     
  • What are the various treatments available for squint correction?

Squint does not get corrected on its own. Treatment of squint aims at:

  • Preserving vision,
  • Restoring the eye alignment (making the eyes look straight), and improving binocular vision and depth perception.

Various treatments for squint correction include:

  • Glasses: They are one of the most common treatments for squints. They can be used to correct the vision problems (refractive errors) that may be causing the squint, such as:
  • short-sightedness (myopia)
  • long-sightedness (hyperopia)
  • an unevenly curved cornea (astigmatism)
     
  • Patching/exercises for treating Amblyopia/Lazy Eye. Sometimes special eye exercises help to correct the squint.
  • Prisms for small squints: These are special lenses given for small squints.
  • Botox Injection (Botulinum toxin): Botulinum toxin may be a treatment option for certain types of squint, where an injection is given in the muscle that temporarily weakens the injected muscle, allowing the eyes to realign.
  • Surgical correction: When the above treatments don’t work, surgery becomes necessary.
     
  • If surgery is required, how is the procedure done?

The surgery for squint is performed on the eye muscles, which lie on the outer part of the eye. Each eye has six eye muscles. The surgery may be performed in up to 1- 4 eye muscles in each eye in one or more sittings, depending upon the angle (severity) of the squint.

It requires the muscles to be cut/stitched. The stitches (sutures) that are used dissolve on their own and do not leave any obvious visible marks. For children, the surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, whereas for adults it may be done under local anaesthesia.

  • What are the risk factors of a squint surgery?

The risk factors involved in the squint surgery are lower compared to most other eye surgeries, as the surgery is done on the outer part of the eye and the inner structures responsible for the sight are not touched.

However, the risks involved with any surgical procedure is common for squint surgery as well – The eye muscle being lost during surgery, perforation of the globe, post-operative infection, under-correction/overcorrection etc. These risk factors are minimized if the surgery is performed with utmost care and by experienced hands.

  • What is the prognosis like?

The prognosis is good, where 90 percent of the squints may be corrected satisfactorily with only one surgery. A second surgery may be required for certain squints to achieve total correction. This is always explained to the patient beforehand.

  • How long does it take to recover from the surgery?

Squint surgery can cause redness and irritation of the eye, which usually subsides by one week. Therefore it can take up to one week to ten days for the patient to be comfortable and get back to his/her normal routine. The medication (eye drops) are however continued for about a month.

  • Can the patient drive/play sports after the surgery?

The patient may initially experience double vision, which usually subsides in about one to two weeks. He /she can drive, once the double vision subsides/or there is no double vision. And sports can be continued after about six weeks.

  • What are the precautions the child must observe after going home from the surgery?

Some general tips to follow are:

  • The patient should drink water at regular intervals
  • Do not rub the eyes if there is a slight itchy feeling.
  • Avoid washing hair for a few days and try not to get any soap or shampoo into the eye
  • The patient should go for regular eye-checkups.
  • If the patient was wearing glasses prior to the operation, it must be continued after the procedure, too. However follow the doctor’s advice.

 

*Disclaimer
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.