What Is Strabismus?
Strabismus is a condition of the eye in which both the eyes look at the same direction at the same time. Strabismus is the other name for the commonly known condition squint or cross-eyed.
This condition occurs when the eye muscles do not work correctly to control the movements of the eyes; This makes the eyes misaligned, and the brain is not able to coordinate the eyes.
Strabismus occurs at a very early age. If not appropriately treated, this problem can cause permanent vision problems such as the “lazy eye” condition.
Strabismus does not only affect the long-term vision, but it also changes the appearance of the child. Squint eye problems can put a child’s self-esteem down.
Childhood strabismus has no apparent cause for its occurrence, except genetic disorders. But adults suffering from strabismus might have the following causes for the disease:
- Down syndrome
- Head injury
- Because of problems like farsightedness and cataract.
- From the loss of blood or eye vessel
- A brain tumor
- An eye tumor
- Nerve disorders
- Muscle disorders
Strabismus is not good for the child’s optic health and his appearance overall. If any symptoms of strabismus are observed, it is advisable to take the child to a doctor. Symptoms may include:
- Both the eyes do not look at the same direction at the same time
- Eyes don’t move together
- Closing one eye in bright sunlight
- Tilting head to look at an object
Diagnosis And Treatment
A doctor can tell that a child is suffering from strabismus just by looking at his eyes.
The doctor asks the child to look at an object by covering and uncovering one eye simultaneously; This helps the doctor to observe the movements of the eyes and figure out when and how the abnormal turning of the eye occurs. These tests also reveal whether the child has a “lazy eye” condition or not.
Lafayette Optometrist, Dr. Durocher, says that the screening of lazy eye or misaligned eye is most likely to occur for children at the age of 5 or below. Although this is not always the case, a child may suffer from these conditions in his/her preteens and his teenage as well. It is best advised to take the child/person to a doctor if any vision related symptom is observed.
There are various options for treating strabismus like, glasses which help correct mild strabismus or a surgery.
More often surgery is the only way to correct strabismus by better aligning the eyes. However, it may take more than one surgery for the child to be fully cured and even after that, the child might need glasses.
What To Expect After The Surgery?
- There might be a slight possibility of vomiting due to the high dosage of anesthesia.
- Patients commonly notice redness in the operated eye. The redness will most likely last up to 2 or 3 weeks.
- The operated eye might also suffer from soreness upon movement. The skin around the eyes might become swollen. However, the swelling and soreness improve within a few days of the surgery.
- After a few days of the surgery, slight changes in the movement of the eyes might be noticeable, but the proper modifications can only be observed after 4 to 6 weeks of surgery.
What Are The Risks Involved In Squint Surgery?
Like any other surgery, there are risks involved with this surgery too. Some of them are:
- If the squint is a severe squint, there might be a need for further surgeries.
- Due to the formation of the scar tissue in the eye, there is a possibility that redness will persist in the eyes for a long time.
- There are chances of occurrence of double vision after the operation. Although, it gets cured within a week.
- There are chances of the squint reoccurring, and another operation might be needed.
- There are chances that one of the eye muscles may slip after the operation; This can impair the eye movement, and surgery might be needed again.
- In rare cases, the insides of the eye can be damaged during surgery.
- There are chances of an infection developing after the surgery. An Eye drop or ointment can be used to cure the disease or reduce the risk.
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Strabismus is the terrible disease that can affect a child’s life in many ways. Although the surgery for strabismus might be a little risky and repetitive for the child, it is advisable for the parents to go ahead with the operation, so that the child does not suffer from vision problems shortly.