Understanding Strabismus or Squint

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Strabismus, also known as squint eye, is an eye disorder in which both eyes don’t line up in the same direction. One eye gazes straight ahead, while the other may turn inward ( esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward, or downward. Hence, a person with this condition can’t look at the same object simultaneously.

Possibilities are also there for a person to face different problems in calculating the estimated distance between objects. Some other issues are also related to the impacted eye, which can affect any person, irrespective of age or gender.

Strabismus Symptoms

Strabismus Symptoms

Various symptoms can characterize strabismus, including:

  • If both eyes don’t look in the same direction.
  • If both the eyeballs don’t move together.
  • Closing one eye in bright sunlight.
  • If you must tilt or turn your head to look at a peripheral object.
  • If you won’t be able to judge the depth.
  • Problems like headaches and eyestrain might occur during minor misalignment.

How does strabismus affect you?

Your eyes mainly comprise six muscles that work in tandem for a coordinated movement of the eyes. These extraocular muscles make both eyes look straight and focus on a single object. Both eyes of a person with normal vision merge the two pictures into a single 3D image. This 3D picture helps us to measure the depth of field.

When one misaligned eye and a properly functioning eye send two different pictures to the brain, the mind prefers ignoring the image from the non-aligned eye. Because of this malfunctioning, understanding depth becomes complicated, especially in kids. However, this situation differs among adults as their brains have already learned to receive two pictures.

Studies have confirmed that malfunctioning of extraocular muscles becomes the root cause of /Strabismus. This malfunction usually occurs due to muscles themselves, associated nerves, or the area in the brain that controls extraocular muscles.

Retina damage in premature babies or Hemangioma (abnormal growth of blood vessels) near the eye among infants may also be possible causes.

A child also causes Accommodative Esotropia (a condition of excessive focusing that a child with uncorrected farsightedness experiences).

What Causes Strabismus?

A person can have normal vision only when all the six muscles surrounding each eye are in sync. This allows both eyes to focus on the same object at a time. When all the eye muscles fail to work in sync, one eye focuses on the object while the other points in a different direction. As a result, the brain receives two images.

When strabismus occurs, it causes the brain to receive two distinct images - one from each eye, which leads to confusion. The brain may attempt to mitigate this in children by suppressing the image from the weaker eye.

Tests Available for Diagnosing Strabismus

Besides Standard Ophthalmic Examination, there are multiple tests available to diagnose.

  • Cover Test: During a cover test for strabismus, the eye doctor will ask you to focus on a small object at a distance. They will then cover one eye with an opaque paddle or an occluder while observing the position of the uncovered eye. After a few seconds, the doctor will uncover the previously covered eye and cover the other eye, observing the position of the previously uncovered eye. This test helps the doctor determine if there is a deviation in the movement of the eyes.
  • Retinal examination: This examination is also known as Ophthalmoscopy/Funduscopy. It allows us to see & evaluate the back of the eye, including the retina, optic disk, and retinal blood vessels.
  • Brain and Nervous System Testing: This neurological examination identifies disorders in CNS.
  • Visual Acuity Testing: This test is used to identify whether you can read the most miniature letters on Snellen Chart at a distance of nearly 20 feet (6 meters). Unique charts are needed while testing at fewer than 6 meters.

Preventive Measures to Create Strabismus

Strabismus can occur at birth or develop during infancy, childhood, or later stages of life. In some instances, strabismus may indicate an underlying eye condition or other health issues that require attention. Therefore early detection is crucial in determining the severity, particularly in children. Having your child's vision thoroughly examined at a nearby eye hospital between the age of three months and three years is important. If there is a family history of strabismus or amblyopia, it is recommended to have your child's eyesight evaluated within the first few months of their life.

Newborn babies usually experience intermittent; this condition ends by two months of age and completely disappears in the first four months of birth as vision develops over time.

Treating Strabismus

Your eye doctor can prescribe different treatment methods to correct Strabismus. If the situation is mild, just wearing spectacles can do the job in adults. Otherwise, here are a few squint eye treatments.
  • A temporary patch is applied to the stronger eye to help the weaker eye get strong. This way, both eyes can get aligned in due course of time. This is a popular squint eye treatment
  • Suppose you don’t meet the expected results; the doctor may ask you for squint surgery. Specific muscles of the eyes are either made stronger or weaker. However, note that surgery is the last viable option for this.
  • In some instances, Botox or Botulinum Toxin also fetches good results to cure certain types of strabismus. It can be injected directly into eye muscles to provide them strength.

How is eye muscle surgery for Strabismus performed?

Eye muscle surgery is a frequently used and safe squint eye treatment. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the conjunctiva, the membrane covering the white part of the eye. The surgeon will then access the eye muscle and either expand or reduce it as needed to achieve optimal alignment.

Strabismus or Squint Eye

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Dr. Anshul Goyal CEO Cataract and Retina Surgeon

Dr. Ritin Goyal Director Cataract and Cornea Surgeon

Dr. Pawan Goyal Chairman Cataract and LASIK Surgeon

Goyal Eye Institute began with a humble beginning in 1989, and has now progressed to provide personalized and inclusive care for entre range of Ophthalmic specialties.

The Centre has highly competent and experienced Ophthalmic Super Specialists to provide best quality care under one roof. Our Specialists form various clinics work closely as a team to provide comprehensive.