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Strabismus (Squint)

Straightening ‘crossed eyes’

Misdirection of the two eyes is termed as squint (strabismus). Inward deviation of eyes (crossed eyes) is the commonest form of squint in children. If not treated at the appropriate time a condition called amblyopia (lazy eye) develops, which eventually leads to permanent decrease in vision. Many a times children with squint are socially ostracized by their friends and this leads to an inferiority complex. Depending on the cause, various modalities of treatment include spectacles, eye exercises and surgery.

Myths regarding squint in children

  • Young children cannot wear glasses.
  • Even few months old children will wear glasses if it is good for them. Children do give initial resistance but persistence always leads to success. In fact permanent vision loss due to amblyopia can be prevented if children are made to wear glasses as early as possible.
  • Squint in the child is a sign of good luck for the family
  • In fact, squint can be a sign of severe eye problem which if not treated early leads to permanent loss of vision.
  • Squint surgery can be done when the child grows up
  • For the best functional results squint surgery in children is best done in the first 1-2 years of life. Once permanent vision loss sets in, squint surgery can be done but only for cosmetic purposes.