Divergent Squint








ACS Eye Specialist Centre
95G & 97G Jalan TKS 1,
Taman Kajang Sentral,
43000 Kajang,
Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel: 03-82116078

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Frequently Asked Questions About Squints

What is a squint/strabismus?
A squint is a deviation of the eyes. The term is used to describe eyes that are not straight or properly aligned. Some people may describe this as being “cross eyed” or “wall eyed” and by this they mean that the eyes are misaligned.

What causes the misalignment?
The misalignment results from the failure of the eye muscles to work together. Sometimes the eyes may be deviated inward or outward.

When a squint is present, will the eyes always look misaligned?
Sometimes the squint may be present only at certain times of the day for example when the child is tired. In other cases, the squint may be a constant one.

My infant's eyes roll all over. Should I be concerned?
At birth, an infant's eyes cannot always focus directly on objects. They may appear to move quite independently at first, sometimes crossing, and sometimes wandering outward. But by the age of three to four months, an infant's eyes should have the ability to focus on small objects and the eyes should be straight or parallel. A six-month-old infant should be able to focus on both distant and near objects.

If parents notice crossed or wall eyes persisting in a child four months of age, they should immediately take the child to an eye care professional for an examination. Early medical attention is recommended for another important reason—to rule out the presence of a serious disease, such as a tumor.

If there is any concern of an eye or vision problem the child should be referred for a comprehensive professional eye examination by an eye doctor.

Is squint present at birth?
Strabismus may be present at birth, it may become apparent at a later age or it may appear at any time in life as a result of illness or accident.

How many children have squints?
Approximately two percent of the nation's children have strabismus. Half of them are born with the condition.

Why is having squint a problem?
Normal vision needs both eyes to look in the same direction at the same time. When a child has a crossed or wandering eye, he or she gets a different picture from each eye. The child's brain blocks out the picture from the weaker eye. If this eye isn't fixed when a child is young, the child's brain will always ignore the pictures from the weak eye so avoid confusion. This kind of vision loss is called amblyopia. Some people may call this a lazy eye. This is the most serious problem caused by crossed or wandering eyes. It is therefore important to detect this problem early because the chances of correcting this are better the younger the child is.

What is false or pseudo-squint?
Certain children may appear to have strabismus when, in fact, they do not. An extra fold of skin near the inner eye, a broad, flat nose or eyes that are unusually close together may also produce the effect of false (or pseudo) strabismus. This is common is Asian children as a number of them are born with the features mentioned earlier. False strabismus should disappear as the child's face grows.

After a professional examination, a parent's concern can be quickly dispelled if false strabismus is present.

What treatment is available for squint?
It is a fallacy to think that a true squint will improve by itself. Treatment to straighten the eyes is required. The types of treatments may be used alone or in combination, depending on the type of squint and its cause.

* Glasses are commonly prescribed to improve focusing and redirect the line of sight, enabling the eyes to straighten.

* Medication in the form of eye drops or ointment may be used, with or without glasses. Injected medication may be used to selectively weaken an overactive eye muscle.

* Surgery may be performed on eye muscles to straighten the eyes if nonsurgical means are unsuccessful.

* Eye exercise, a limited form of treatment, may be recommended either before or after surgery to teach proper eye coordination.