Often prevalent and diagnosed in childhood, a squint, also known by the medical term Strabismus, is where the eyes appear to look in opposing directions. As well as having an aesthetic effect, whilst one eye is focusing on doing its job, the other is turning away and potentially becoming the weaker of the two eyes. This creates obvious visual issues but in differing degrees depending on the severity of the squint.
The first person to notice a squint is often the parent of a child who will just get the feeling that something isn’t right. At this stage, a trip to your GP as soon as possible will mean you get to see an eye specialist and the sooner treatment is started on a squint, the better the outcome is likely to be. This is also necessary to rule out any underlying medical issues that may be causing it.
Treatment can be from being simply monitored under a hospital unit, to wearing a patch for a lazy eye, wearing glasses and also doing exercises with the eyes to strengthen the muscles behind, to surgery where the muscles behind the eye are moved so that the squint is no longer there. There is also the option of injections into the eye muscles that weaken them so that they relax and straighten the eye, but this is an ongoing treatment that requires being done approximately every three months.
As a child gets older, the improvement in a squint is less likely to occur, especially after the age of seven, but as glasses are such an accepted part of today’s life as well as being a must have fashion accessory, any stigma towards having a squint has lessened a lot in recent years.
Wearing contact lenses also makes a squint less noticeable so there is no need to be overly concerned about the appearance of a squint in the vast majority of cases.
Whilst there is no cure for a squint other than undergoing surgery, if there are no underlying health issues that have caused a squint, this is a relatively common and accepted eye condition that causes little problem for those who have it.