Squint / strabismus treatment for children

HELPING TO ALIGN THEIR EYES
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What is a squint / strabismus?

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Everything you need to know about squint / strabismus in children

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Squint, otherwise known as strabismus, is a misalignment of the eyes.

This condition occurs in approximately 4% of the UK population. It can affect people at any age, but it is commonly found in children.

One or both eyes may turn inwards (crossed-eyes), outward, turn up or turn down.

This type of strabismus may be normal. However, it is advisable to have your child’s eyes checked at Eye Clinic London, especially if the eye is drifting outwards.

Before the age of 6 months, a child’s ability to fix is not established, and so it might be common to see some form of strabismus.

Strabismus usually occurs when the muscles that control the movement of the eye and the eyelid are not working together. As a result, both eyes are unable to look at the same spot at the same time.

It can also occur because of a brain disorder which means that the eyes are unable to coordinate correctly.

Strabismus also makes binocular vision impossible, so it is harder for the child to perceive depth.

Some children are born with this condition (congenital squint); however, in the majority of children, the condition presents after birth in early childhood.

An uncorrected refractive error, particularly hyperopia, can result in strabismus or cross-eyes.

We must diagnose strabismus as early as possible to avoid the impairment of visual development of the affected eye. If the impairment goes undiagnosed the age of 7–8 years, it can be more difficult to treat.

We will perform a thorough examination to identify the following features:

  • Misalignment of eyes
  • Full range of eye movements
  • Abnormal head posture
  • How the eyes move during a cover test
  • A full refraction to assess the power of the eye

After an initial consultation and full eye assessment, we will tell you which type of treatment is applicable.

The first step in addressing a squint is to provide a glasses prescription that will enable the eye to develop correctly and straighten.

If this doesn’t work, the other option is surgery to realign the eyes.

Squint surgery is considered to be a functional procedure if the brain can restore the use of both eyes working together.

In cases where one eye is switched off by the brain (suppression), there is no ability to make the two eyes function together. However, we can cosmetical