Squint is a misalignment of the eyes. It can be constant (when the eye turns all of the time) or intermittent (turning only some of the time, such as, under stressful conditions or when ill).
Squint is not just a cosmetic problem. If the squint is not corrected in time, it can lead to progressive and permanent deterioration of vision in the squinting eye which may not be reversible after some period.
Some types of squint can be corrected by giving proper refractive correction (spectacles) to the child. Surgery is required when squint persists inspite of using glasses. If surgery is indicated then it has to be done as early as possible.
Depending upon the type of squint, the muscles of the eye are repositioned i.e. weakened (recession) or strengthened (resection).Squint surgery is usually done under general anesthesia. It is a day care procedure and the child goes home the same day.
Misconceptions regarding squint:
Myth – Children born with squint are considered to be lucky.
Fact: Children born with squint are in fact unlucky because they do not develop binocular vision (ability to see with both eyes) and need to be treated earlier.
Myth – Children will outgrow squint.
Fact: A child with a true squint will never outgrow it.
Myth – Squint Surgery is to be done only when the child grows older
Fact: Earlier the surgery done, better are the charges for the eyes to align themselves and allow the brain to develop binocular vision.
Myth – Child will not require to wear spectacles after surgery.
Fact: Child will need to wear spectacles even after surgery as squint surgery only alters the position of the eyes. It does not correct poor vision due to refractive errors.
Myth – Small angle squint need not be corrected.
Fact: Even a small angle squint can lead to amblyopia & poor vision, hence needs to be treated.