Squint or Strabismus occurs when the extraocular muscles that control movement of eyes fail to exercise proper control over the eye movements resulting in misalignment of eyes. But the good thing is that it can be controlled and straightened at any age.
Kinds of Strabismus
Strabismus is divided into different categories depending on the position of the eyes
- Hypertropia: Eyes turn upwards
- Hypotropia: Eyes turn downwards
- Esotropia: Eyes turn inwards
- Exotropia: Eyes turn outwards
There was a time when Strabismus was thought to be permanent but medical science proved that it is curable. But early intervention and treatment is more effective.
Strabismus could be hereditary but there could be more reasons
- Congenial: Children are born with squint eyes
- Hereditary: Family history suggesting a genetic link
- Hypermetropia or long-sightedness
- Myopia or short-sightedness
- Injury to nerves
- Hydrocephalus, a condition where fluid builds up in the brain, also leads to Strabismus
- Viral infections like measles also lead to misalignment of eyes
Diagnosis and treatment
Children should get routine eye exam to detect development of Strabismus and interrupt at an early age. But it is only after Hirscherg corneal reflex test that an ophthalmologist can confirm presence of Strabismus.
The test involves shining light in the eye and observing reflection of the light from the cornea. Well-aligned eyes reflect the light to the center of both corneas. But if doesn’t, the test detects the kind of Strabismus.
Treatment for Strabismus is available but the rule of the thumb is the younger the patient and quicker the diagnosis, the more effective the treatment is going to be.
Glasses: Squint caused due to long-sightedness or hypermetropia can be straightened with prescription glasses.
Eye patch: The good eye is covered with a patch and this therapy helps the other eye with squint to work better.
Botox injection: Botulinum toxin is injected on the surface of the effected eye. The injected muscle weakens temporarily and this temporary interruption helps the eye align properly. This treatment is suggested when no underlying cause for squint is found or the Strabismus appears to be a sudden problem.
Eye exercise: It includes exercising your eye muscles and using drops to help the effected eye work better.
Surgery: It is the last option after exhausting all the available treatment options. Surgical treatment realigns the eyes and restore binocular vision. A squint specialist in Delhi can help, if you or any of your family members or friends is suffering from squint or Strabismus.