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Pediatric Ophthalmology

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Squint and pediatric ophthalmology

Squint in Children:


        Squint or crossed eyes is an eye condition where there is misalignment between the two eyes in such a way that one eye look at a different direction than other and so both eyes could not focus or concentrate on one point when we look at some object.

         Squint mostly affects young children. It leads to loss of binocular vision and depth perception. Squint will result in many long term problems like,

  • Lazy eye or Amblyopia.
  • Visual impairment- loss of vision, if not treated early.
  • Affects the cosmetic appearance- children with squint with slowly feel different from other children and they may isolate them from their friends and may lose self-esteem and self-confidence in future.
  • It may affect professional selection or child’s career in future. For e.g. pilot, merchant navy, acting, media etc.


Causes of squint:


  • Squint can occur due to refractive error.
  • Family history- squint can be hereditary.
  • From birth – it can be congenital (from birth) due to some defect in brain or dysfunction of nerves and muscles moving in the eye.
  • Any inherent eye problem like eye cancer (retinoblastoma), damaged retina or optic nerve can give rise to a squint problem.


Symptoms  of squint:


Squint is usually detected in children by their parents. So the role of parents in detecting the squint is crucial for early treatment.

     Parents should watch for,

  • Crossed eyes – both eyes not looking in same direction.
  • Shaky eyes or nystagmus
  • Child trying to squeeze the eyes or brings things closer to eyes to watch.
  • Poor performance in classroom.
  • White spot in central black part of the eye.

In diagnosing squint, role of the parent is largest.

It is alright for a baby to squint occasionally in first few months of birth, but persistent cross eyes should alert the parent to get child complete eye examination done by an ophthalmologist at the earliest to prevent further squint related complications.

Treatment of squint:

  • Optical treatment – In all squint patients, first a dilated eye examination with refraction is done and if there is any refractive error, spectacles are accordingly prescribed.
  • Eye patching or occlusion therapy – It is done in cases of squint with associated amblyopia.
  • Eye exercises – These are converging exercises done in cases of divergent squint.
  • Prism correction.
  • Vision therapy.
  • Squint surgery – if above measures does not work, then squint surgery is advised which involves slightly shortening or moving the eye muscles to correct the misalignment. This is a safe surgery and corrects squint immediately.

It should be noted that in some cases surgery is advised by an eye doctor at a very early age, as early as 6 months to 1year to prevent any long term or permanent visual loss in children.

So, squint operation should not be delayed, if advised by an eye specialist even if kid is small.

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+91 99203 92108
+91 93246 36580

Dr. Kamlesh Gupta

MBBS, MD - Ophthalmology Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon 20 Years Experience Overall (13 years as specialist)

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Shreeji Eye Clinic & Dental Care Centre

Flat No 102, B -68 BLDG
Moreshwar Shantinagar CHS Ltd,Sector No.1 Opp. TMT Bus Stop
Near Rly Station, Shanti Nagar,
Mira Road, Thane,
Maharashtra 401107

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