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How to be sure your child has a squint?

Squints in a child are often developed at an early age, even at birth in most cases. It is a common eye condition noticeable in children, especially when they try focusing on an object and their eyes tend to squint. Again it could be noticeable in children in general by the cosmetic look of their eyes. Depending on the type and severity of the Squint diagnosed, doctors recommend an appropriate squint eye treatment for the child. Since it is a common condition and not a rare one, the best pediatric ophthalmologist in Mumbai can treat squint eyes in children with appropriate treatment. However, the child should be taken to the squint eye specialist for a proper diagnosis for the proper treatment. Covering more on this, we have shared details about the symptoms and treatments of Squint in a child. But before getting into those details, let us understand what squint eye or strabismus is.

What is Squint eye (strabismus)?

Squint eye, or strabismus as we commonly call it, is an eye condition involving the misalignment of the two eyes. By this, we mean the two eyes are aligned in two different directions. So, in such a condition, one eye does not seem focused in the direction or object of focus. The eye is either turned inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards direction. The squint eye or misalignment of the eyes could probably be constant in a child or may appear when trying to focus on objects at times. However, with proper diagnosis, a squint in a child can be successfully treated.

How common is Squint?

Squint eye is not a rare eye condition instead of what people often assume. It is a very common vision problem often seen in children and adults. It has been observed that nearly 2- 3 out of 15 children, including newborn babies, are diagnosed with squint eyes. In fact, studies even suggest that most Squints in children are developed by the age of 4. However, squints can even develop in older children or adults for various other reasons.

While squint eyes in adults are often due to medical conditions like stroke, damaged nerves, trauma, decreased vision, etc., their treatment is quite different from the squint treatment in children. Mostly squint in children is associated or instead caused due to weak eye muscles and vision. It is commonly observed that children with squints tend to suppress the image from deviating, while adults tend to report blur and double vision.

So now that we know what exactly is squint eyes are and how common is the eye condition let us learn and understand to detect Squint in children.

How do I know if my child has a squint?

The parents and healthcare providers usually notice squint eye in children. Detecting squint in a child can be tricky since they never complain of eye problems or are too young to notice and realize abnormalities in their vision. Although children sometimes complain of having a double vision or having trouble of vision in general or blurred vision and tiredness in eyes, or sensitivity in the eyes. Children may complain of such vision issues if they have problems reading during classroom learning or in school in general. In fact, younger children who cannot express or talk tend to turn or tilt heads to achieve clear vision. Below are some of the most common symptoms of Squint in a child observed or detected by parents. In case your child has the below-listed symptoms, then immediately approach the best pediatric ophthalmologist in Mumbai for consultation and diagnosis.

Common Symptoms of Squint in Child

  • Eye are aligned in different directions
  • Children experience double vision
  • Tilting of the head for better vision or clarity
  • Closing one eye to focus objects in bright sunlight
  • Having impaired vision
  • Notice decreased depth perception
  • Regularly complain of eyestrain or headache
  • Complain of blurred vision, tired and or sensitive eyes

Symptoms of Squint in a child may not always be permanent and may appear and disappear over time. If the symptoms continue to persist for a long time, it is recommended that the child be taken to the best pediatric ophthalmologist in Mumbai for squint treatment. Diagnosis is a crucial process or step in the treatment of squint eye, so consulting a doctor is recommended. Now that we know the symptoms of squint eyes let us see the risk factors and probability of developing such vision.

What are the risk factors for Squint?

Developing Squint in a child could be due to many reasons, including medical and non-medical conditions. However, certain risk factors increase the chances of developing squint eyes in children. This includes risk factors like

Family History

Squint eye could be a condition that at times may run in families. So at times, if parents have had squint eyes or had glasses from an early age, there may be an increased possibility that their child may develop squint eyes. The genetic reason for Squint in children is prevalent, and this inherited condition is not yet fully understood.

Premature Birth

Premature babies always hold a high chance of developing squint eyes. This is mainly due to them being born early, low weight, and being weak in general. We all know that weak eye muscles and nerves also cause squint eyes. So the chances of premature kids developing squints are often high.

Medical conditions

Medical conditions like nerve damage, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome can also result in children developing squint eyes. Medical conditions have always been the most common reason for Squint in children and adults as well.

What are the Squint Eye Treatments?

Unlike the common notion prevailing in the medical industry, squint eye can be treated. People believe that squint eye is an irreversible condition, but it can be treated with the correct diagnosis and treatment. However, it is essential to note that the correction of Squint in a child can never happen on its own without any treatment. The eyes need proper treatment and medication for an effective cure. In fact, squint treatment in children must begin as early as possible because the earlier the treatments are provided, the quicker is the recovery and best chances of improvement. The child should first be taken to the best pediatric ophthalmologist in Mumbai for consultation and diagnosis for the squint treatment. After that, the doctor may prescribe eyeglasses and medical treatment for improving the condition.

For children diagnosed with amblyopia or lazy eyes, doctors may prescribe patching of the eyes. This technique is often adopted to push the weaker vision to see well. The patching technique has proven to be an effective squint treatment for children and often resulted in vision improvements. Apart from these techniques, squint eye specialists may also advise eye exercises to strengthen the weak eye muscles. Sometimes, when severe cases, the doctor may even suggest surgery for the eyes. While there is no squint surgery age limit for any child yet, depending on what the doctors feel fit for the child, they may recommend a surgery at an early age which could be as early as 6months to 1 year. If required, the surgery could be recommended for either one eye or both eyes. Also, the doctor may suggest a possibility of needing multiple surgeries based on the type and severity of Squint in a child. However, these complications are often rare, and just one surgery would result in an optimal cosmetic outcome.