Squint And Pediatric Ophthalmology
A pediatric ophthalmologist is a doctor who has the qualification, experience, and expertise to treat a child:
- Having an eye problem
- Failing in a vision screening examination
- Finding it difficult to read or learn
- Suffering from an eye illness
A squint is a condition marked by improper alignment of the eyes. It is also referred to as strabismus. While one eye moves inwards, outwards, upwards, and downwards, the other eye remains focused at just one spot.
Signs and symptoms
From early infancy, a squint is quite noticeable. Usually, strabismus is present right from birth, or it may develop six months after birth. One eye never looks straight ahead. A marginal squint is relatively less obvious.
If left untreated, strabismus can cause amblyopia or a lazy eye. In this condition, the brain keeps on rejecting signals transmitted by one of the eyes to prevent the occurrence of double vision.
If one eye of the child is permanently closed or the child keeps turning the head to look at you – this indicates a possibility of squint.
If treated promptly, the risk of contracting complications such as lazy eye is reduced. In addition, treatment is more effective in children.
Standard treatment options include:
A pediatric ophthalmologist recommends glasses if the squint is caused due to long-sightedness, also called hypermetropia.
When an eye patch is worn over the normal eye, it can help bring the squint on the other eye in line and encourage proper vision development.
Botulinum injection (Botox)
Botox is injected into the affected eye muscle. A pediatric ophthalmologist may advise this treatment if the squint does not have any underlying cause and it occurs all of a sudden. Injecting botox results in a temporary weakening of the muscle, bringing back proper alignment between the eyes.
Furthermore, the child can benefit from the regular application of eye drops or eye exercises.
Surgery is recommended when other treatments prove ineffective. It realigns the eyes and puts the binocular vision right. Occasionally both eyes need surgery to restore the correct balance.
A squint, if treated during childhood, may come back in adulthood.
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