By Eyecare NG

Squint is a condition in which the eyes are misaligned. It is also known as strabismus, tropia or crossed eyes. It can occur at any age but it is more common in children.

Squint Causes, Types, and Signs

Early diagnosis and treatment of squint is important for good visual outcomes. Treatment of squint is necessary for the prevention and treatment of amblyopia. It is also needed to restore binocular vision, improve depth perception and improve the appearance of the person with the squint.

Diagnosis of squint involves a series of tests such as the Hirschberg corneal reflex test, cover and uncover test, refraction and a general examination of the eye from outside to the inside.

Treatment given would depend on the cause and nature of the squint. Treatment options include:

  • Correction of refractive errors: If a refractive error is the cause of squint, the doctor will prescribe lenses to correct it. This could be in the form of glasses or contact lenses.  If necessary, prisms may be incorporated into the glasses to take care of the deviating eye.
  • Treatment of amblyopia:  If the deviating eye has developed amblyopia, it is important that the amblyopia is treated. There are various ways to treat amblyopia. The most common method involves patching the better eye for a period of time to encourage the use of the amblyopic eye.  The earlier amblyopia treatment is commenced the better the visual outcome.  Learn more about amblyopia HERE.
  • Vision therapy: This involves the use of optical devices and exercises to improve visual skills and make eye movement easier and more efficient.  It is usually done under the supervision of an eye doctor.
  • Surgery: This is done to restore binocular vision especially in cases where the other treatment options have failed. Squint surgery involves adjusting the eye muscles so that they balance properly. People who undergo squint surgery in childhood may develop squint again later in life.
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) injection: The botox injection may be given to temporarily correct squint that occurs due to overactivity of the eye muscles. The injection weakens the overactive muscles thereby allowing for a proper alignment of the eyes. This injection may also be given following a squint surgery that fails to properly align the eyes.  The effect of the injection on the muscles usually wears off within 3 to 4 months.