Squint Eye or Strabismus is one of the common problems in kids. It is also called cross eye or wall eye. There is a natural squint in the eyes of infants because the eyes do not have an alignment at the time of birth. It gets stabilized automatically after some time. However, if the squint is more than usual, then there is something wrong.
The patient has to turn his or head to focus better while reading, watching television or talking to you when the squint is more than usual. It is a serious symptom, and the problem needs immediate intervention. Squint eye occurs among adults as well in very rare cases. The exact reason is unknown, but there are corrective measures available. Sometimes it is seen after an eye surgery, eye injury or a refractive error.
Since the eye muscles do not work in a coordinated and balanced manner, eyes do not move together... When one eye looks in one direction, the other turns in any direction. Squint eye results in serious visionary disorders if not treated within time. It is known as misalignment of eyes. Amblyopia or Lazy Eye is the commonest problem that causes deteriorated vision and eventually vision loss. It also affects the depth perception where a person is unable to judge the distance between the eyes and the object. It causes major problems in daily chores like driving, swimming, and sports. It also hampers the self-confidence of the kid.
Types of squint
Since Strabismus is a condition of misaligned eye, it can cause misalignment in any direction. When both eyes do not align simultaneously in the same direction, then there is a problem of focusing.
When parents take the kid for treatment of squint eye, certain factors are considered during prognosis. Firstly, doctors check whether the squint comes and goes, or it is permanent. The first case is called intermittent strabismus, and the latter is known as constant strabismus. Angle of the squint and severity are two other important parameters. Doctors say that early detection and treatment help a lot. In the case of severe squint, immediate treatment is sought because the kid finds difficulty in focusing.
The problem doesn’t get corrected of its own. Treatment should begin as early as possible to achieve good results. An eye specialist looks at the problem and advises accordingly. Use of prisms in spectacles, exercise of muscles, and surgical process are a few curative methods. Amblyopia therapy is recommended in case of Lazy Eye problem. Eyeglasses are suggested to correct the optical difference, not the turning of the eye.
Prior to 10 days of surgery, doctors stop medicines like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, etc. Since these medicines reduce blood clotting, they need to be stopped before surgery. On the day of surgery, the kids are asked not to drink or eat anything several hours prior to the surgery. They take a few measurements of eye pressure before the procedure. Usually the patient is called in the morning hours. Doctors check the basic health condition before the procedure. Any signs of fever, cough and cold or other ailments may force to postpone the surgery.
On the day of surgery
The surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia depending on the criticality and complication. Surgeons make a small incision covering the white portion of the eye. After finding out the problematic muscle, they perform corrective surgery on the same. Sometimes, it needs to be strengthened. In some cases, it needs to be loosened. The first process is called resection where a small section is removed. The latter is called recession where the muscle is attached to a point farther toward the back side of the eye. The procedure is totally painless and easy. There may be a need of minor correction next day. The operation brings excellent results.
Surgical procedure is quite simple, and it is performed on an outpatient basis. The eyes become straight after operation. However, certain precautions are necessary. During the recovery process from anesthesia and during the first few days rubbing should be avoided. Doctors explain the way to avoid it. Usually, the patients are allowed to go home after a few hours. However, a weekly follow-up is required for a few weeks. Eye drops or ointment is prescribed to prevent infection.
Risks and complications
There are no complications or risks involved. Sometimes, reaction to the anesthetic drug causes respiration problems. Bleeding or infection can occur in very rarely. Doctors take complete care to avoid the problems.
Can laser surgery treat Strabismus?
No, strabismus can’t be corrected using laser treatment because it is a problem associated with muscles around the eyes. On the contrary, a little squint can be observed after laser eye surgery to correct vision problems.
However, in some cases of squint and double vision among people over 40 years of age can be cured by laser surgery, but it is not strabismus. In such cases, squint occurs when there is a mismatch between the strength of the muscles. The patient has to wear a patch over one eye. Surgeons use laser treatment to focus the dominant eye for distant vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. Since the eyes are focused on two different points, the brain receives one single image instead of two distinct ones. It is called ‘mono vision’ in the technical jargon.
To conclude, laser surgery is not a corrective treatment for strabismus. Certain squint that occurs in the later age can be cured by the vision correction surgery using laser beams.
It is possible to get rid of the problem completely by modern surgical procedure. Expert surgeons perform the operation with utmost accuracy and leave no room for complications. The earlier it is corrected, the better results can be achieved.