Squints can be cured by glasses and eye exercises and in certain cases surgery must be done at the earliest to rectify the misalignment.
When both the eyes of a person are not in alignment with each other it is known as squint or strabismus. Nearly 40% patients with squint can be cured by spectacles and/or eye exercises. However, a large majority require an operation. Squint operations are very safe and should be done at the earliest. Generally if the eyes are not aligned for more than 6 months in a child, irreversible damage to the three dimensional vision occurs, which is only partly reversible. Squint surgeries are performed successfully even in 4 month old children. If surgery is required it should be done in most cases within six months after the squint is noticed to avoid any irreversible damage to three dimensional vision.
What is squint (strabismus)?
Squint is a misalignment of the two eyes where both eyes are not looking in the same direction. This misalignment may be constant or may be present throughout the day or it may appear occasionally and the rest of the time the eyes may be straight; this is called as intermittent squint.
What causes squint?
The exact cause of squint is not known. Six muscles control the movement of each eye (see picture). Each of these muscles acts along with its counterpart in the other eye to keep both the eyes aligned properly. A loss of coordination between the muscles of the two eyes leads to misalignment. Sometimes a refractive error like hypermetropia (far sightedness) or an eye muscle paralysis may lead to deviation of the eye. Poor vision in an eye because of some other eye disease like cataract etc. may also cause the eye to deviate. Therefore it is important in all cases of squint, especially in children, to have a thorough eye checkup to rule out any other cause of loss of vision.