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Squint Eye: What Is It And How Can It Be Treated?

A squint eye, also known as strabismus, is a medical condition where the eyes of the person don’t align properly. One eye focuses on a single spot, whereas the other eye turns upwards, downwards, outwards, or inwards. It either happens recurrently or all the time. 

It typically happens because the muscles responsible for controlling the movement of the eyelid, the eye, and the extraocular muscles, stop functioning together. Consequently, a squint eye causes the inability to simultaneously look at the same spot. 

It may also occur due to a brain disorder, which affects the coordination of the eyes. Also, binocular vision will become something impossible due to strabismus. It makes it difficult for the person to experience depth perception. 

The occurrence rate of squint eye or strabismus in India ranges between 4% and 6%. However, its occurrence rate among premature newborns is between 30% and 40%. 

Types of Squint Eye/Strabismus

Strabismus can be of different types, described by the cause or how your eye turns. Here are the terms that describe a squint eye by its position:

  • Hypotropia: It is when the eye turns downwards
  • Hypertropia: It is when the eye turns upwards
  • Exotropia: It is when the eye turns outwards
  • Esotropia: It is when the eye turns inwards

To get a highly effective treatment, it’s best to go for an early diagnosis of strabismus. Previously, it was believed that after a “critical point,” the squint eye becomes untreatable. Although strabismus can be treated at any age, the treatment is proven more effective for up to the age of six years.  

Causes of Squint Eye/Strabismus

A squint eye can be:

  • Running in families or hereditary indicates a genetic relation
  • Congenital, which means the individual is born with it
  • A consequence of long-sightedness or an illness
  • An effect of lesion on a cranial nerve 

Other factors that contribute to “squint eye causes” include:

  • Long-sightedness or hypermetropia
  • Short-sightedness or myopia
  • Improper curving of cornea or Astigmatism

To get a better focus, the affected eye turns inward due to a refractive error. A squint eye due to refractive errors usually occurs later, when the person is aged two years or above. 

Hydrocephalus is yet another condition responsible for causing a squinted eye. In hydrocephalus, excessive cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in and around the brain. Also, viral infections like measles can result in strabismus. Noonan syndrome is another reason why people have strabismus. 

Squint Eye: Diagnosis and Treatment To Correct The Condition!

In the developing phase of life, every baby and child should go for routine eye checks. If the child experiences constant eye turn, it’s recommended to take them for eye tests at nine months or earlier. 

If the physician finds any signs of a squint eye, they will refer the kid or child to an ophthalmologist. Before the test, the ophthalmologist will dilate the pupils by using eye drops. To determine whether the person has a squint eye or not, the specialist will perform either the Hirschberg corneal reflex test or the Hirschberg test. 

The ophthalmologist will use a beam of light in the eye to see if it reflects from the corneas or not. The light usually goes to the center of the corneas when the eyes are well-aligned. 

If not aligned, the light won’t go straight to the center, and the test will help to determine whether the patient has esotropia, exotropia, hypotropia, and hypertropia. 

In some cases, individuals may have more than one tropia at one particular time.

Treatment Options

Quick treatment lowers the risk of complications like lazy eye or amblyopia. The younger the patient, the more effective the treatment. Some popular and effective treatment options include:  

  • Glasses: If you have a squint eye due to long-sightedness or hypermetropia, wearing glasses can correct it. 
  • Eye Patch: Wearing the patch over the good eye will help the other eye, the affected one with the squint, work effectively. 
  • Botox or Botulinum Toxin Injection: It is injected into the muscle present on the eye surface. If the doctor cannot identify any underlying cause and there’s a sudden occurrence of signs and symptoms, they may recommend this treatment. To let the eyes align properly, the injected muscle weakens temporarily due to botox. 
  • Others: Eye exercises and eye drops can also help treat squinted eyes.

Of course, surgery is an option, but it’s used only when all the other treatments fail to show effective results. Surgery can help in restoring binocular vision by realigning the eyes. 

The muscle connecting with the eye gets moved to a new position in the surgical procedure. To ensure the right balance or proper alignment, the surgeon may operate on both eyes too. 

Ending Note

So, with this comprehensive medical guide, you must’ve known what a squint eye is and how it can be corrected. So, get in touch with the best healthcare facility in India – like Apollo, and ensure early treatment for your loved one. 

For more information on treatment like this, connect with https://healthlibrary.askapollo.com/

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