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Eye Squint (Strabismus): Types, Causes, and Treatment.

When it comes to eye health, being well-informed is the first step towards ensuring a lifetime of clear vision. One common condition that people may experience is eye squint, which is also known as strabismus. In this article, we'll explore the various aspects of eye squint, from its types, causes, risk factors, available treatments and essential precautions to maintain eye health.


What is Eye Squint?

Eye squint, or strabismus happens when the eyes do not align properly. In a healthy visual system, both eyes focus on the same point which allows for binocular vision. However, in patients with strabismus, one eye may turn inward, outward, upward or downward, disrupting this alignment.


A young child with a squint or strabismus

Types of Eye Squint


An eye squint comes in different forms, each with its unique characteristics:

 

●      Esotropia: Esotropia is the inward turning of one eye, affecting the alignment and coordination of both eyes.

●      Exotropia: Exotropia is the outward turning of one eye, creating a distinctive misalignment pattern.

●      Hypertropia and Hypotropia: These variations are the upward or downward turning of one eye, contributing to the complexity of strabismus.

 

Understanding the specific type of eye squint is important for determining the most effective treatment approach.


Causes of Eye Squints


Several factors can contribute to the development of eye squint:

 

●      Muscle Imbalance: An imbalance in the eye muscles can lead to misalignment.

●      Genetics: A family history of strabismus increases the risk.

●      Refractive Errors (glasses): while uncorrected farsightedness (hypermetropia) or nearsightedness (myopia) may contribute.

●      Eye Injuries or Diseases: Trauma or certain eye conditions can lead to strabismus.

 

Identifying the underlying cause is essential for devising an appropriate treatment plan.


Risk Factors


Certain factors may increase the likelihood of developing eye squint:

 

●      Age: Strabismus often begins in childhood but can develop at any age.

●      Family History: A genetic predisposition can be a risk factor.

●      Refractive Errors:  Uncorrected vision problems may contribute.

 

Regular eye examinations are very important for early detection and meditation.


Treatments or Procedures for Eye Squints

 

The good news is that effective treatments are available for eye squint:

 

●      Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: Correcting refractive errors can sometimes alleviate strabismus.

●      Vision Therapy: Exercises and activities to improve eye coordination.

●      Eye Muscle Surgery: In cases where other treatments are not sufficient, surgery or botox injections can be recommended.

 

The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the type and severity of the squint.



A little girl with prescription glasses

Importance of treatment


While some cases of eye squint cannot be prevented, taking certain precautions can minimise the risk:

 

●      Early Eye Examinations: Regular eye check-ups in childhood can help detect and address issues early.

●      Quick Treatment: If strabismus is identified, seeking timely treatment is crucial.

●      Eye Safety: Preventing eye injuries reduces the risk of developing strabismus.

●      Ensuring good health: Maintaining overall good health can reduce the risk of developing squints in adulthood.


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q1: Can adults develop eye squint?

A: Yes. While it often begins in childhood, strabismus can develop at any age and it is important to seek advice immediately if you develop a new squint or double vision.

 

Q2: Is surgery the only option for treating eye squint?

A: No, the treatment approach depends on the specific case, and surgery is considered in certain situations.

 

Q3: Can an eye squint cause vision loss?

A: If left untreated, severe cases of strabismus can lead to vision problems. So early treatment is a must to avoid a lazy eye (amblyopia).


Q4: What signs/symptoms should I watch out for?

A: In children three months and older, if you notice any misalignment of the eye, even if intermittent then you should seek professional advice soon. Children rarely report double vision unlike adults. Children will tend to close one eye or adopt a specific head posture.


Q5: Who should I go and see?

A: The ideal professional to see is an Orthoptist who specialises in eye conditions in children, particularly squints and eye movement disorders.



eye examination


Conclusion


Understanding eye squint is very important for maintaining optimal eye health. From recognizing the types and causes to exploring treatment options, being informed allows people to take proactive measures. However, regular eye check-ups, quick treatment and necessary precautions can contribute to managing eye squint effectively.


So, if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of eye squint then please don't hesitate to contact us at EyeSquint. Our consultant orthoptist Jayesh Khistria is at hand to give professional advice. By addressing strabismus early on, we can ensure a future filled with clear vision and eye health. 

 

Remember, your eyes are your windows to the world, So we should keep them in focus.



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