Paediatric Squint in Children: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Author: Fardeen Ahmed

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What is a paediatric squint eye?

Squint eye is a condition where the eyes are not aligned and are not looking in the same direction. This condition is also referred to as strabismus. Squint eye condition is commonly seen in children and is called paediatric squint eye. Sometimes, the misalignment can be very slight or only experienced occasionally. Squints are seen in 1 out of 20 children. They are most likely to develop squint eyes before the age of 3 years and sometimes babies can also be born with squint eyes. Most of the time squint is caused as a result of children trying to overcome a vision problem and other times the reason is unknown. Squints are classified based on:

  1. Direction of Squinting Eye
  • Esotropia – If an eye turns inwards.
  • Exotropia – If an eye turns outwards.
  • Hypertropia – If an eye turns upwards.
  • Hypotropia – If an eye turns downwards.

      2. Occurrence of Squint Eyes

  • Constant Squint – If it is present all the time.
  • Intermittent Squint – If it comes and goes.

What are the symptoms of squint eyes in children?

If your child is suffering from squint eyes, the most obvious symptom is misaligned eyes or eyes that are pointed in two different directions. Other symptoms that you may observe are:

  • Double vision
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty reading
  • Eyestrain
  • The child trying to focus by closing one eye
  • Child complaints about not being able to see properly

What causes paediatric squint eyes?

A paediatric ophthalmologist will perform a complete eye examination to diagnose squint. They will also go through their medical history to see if there is a root cause for your child’s squint condition. Then they will examine your child’s visual reading ability and carry out corneal light reflex tests to find the position of their eyes. 

An in-depth eye examination for paediatric squint in children can be performed at Nethradhama with great efficiency and safety.

How to diagnose paediatric squint?

Symptoms can vary according to the type of uveitis and its severity. The most commonly observed symptoms are:

  • Eye Pain
  • Irritation
  • White Liquid Accumulation in Eye
  • Increase in Floaters
  • Red Eye
  • Gaps or Missing Sections in the Field of Vision
  • Decreased Vision
  • Blurred Vision
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Swollen Conjunctiva
  • Change in Pupil Shape

Uveitis Diagnosis

The diagnosis process of uveitis starts with an eye exam. At Nethradhama, we use cutting-edge technologies for visual acuity tests and slit lamp examinations. Sometimes tonometry is also used to measure the pressure in your eyes and optical coherence tomography to check for changes in the shape of your eyes. 

If uveitis is caused due to other underlying conditions, you may also have to include a blood test to check for infections, autoimmune disorders, forms of arthritis and other blood-related medical conditions. Imaging scans such as X-rays and MRI can also be performed to detect uveitis and its underlying causes. 

Since uveitis causes and symptoms can vary depending on its type, it is best to consult a specialist for early diagnosis and effective treatment. Nethradhama is all set to provide you with the best care and effective treatment options from our expert doctors.

How to cure paediatric squint?

Treatment options available for paediatric squint include:

  • Patching

Sometimes children with squint will get used to using only one eye which results in the affected eye losing vision completely. So patching is recommended for the unaffected eye to motivate the usage of squint affected eye. Patching will also help with the treatment of lazy eyes, which can also be a cause of paediatric squint.

  • Correction Lenses

If the reason for the squint is vision difficulties, your doctor will recommend corrective lenses to eliminate the cause and then the squint condition.

  • Eye Correction

Eye exercises are recommended to treat the inability to focus on nearby objects that can also result in squint eyes.

  • Medications

An ophthalmologist might also recommend eye drops that can help with overactive eye muscles.

  • Eye Muscle Surgery

Squint surgery is a common treatment procedure. The surgeon will completely change the eye muscles to align it properly. This procedure is performed with anaesthesia and may or may not be performed on both eyes. This squint eye surgery can include one of these steps:

1. Resection

Shortening of eye muscles by cutting them.

2. Recession

Tightening of eye muscles by moving them.

3. Plication

Shortening eye muscles by folding or reattaching them.

What are the complications associated with squint eyes?

If you leave squint eyes untreated in children, it may cause the following complications:

Lazy eyes
Permanent loss of vision
Blurry vision
Constant fatigue, headaches and eye strain
Poor 3D vision
Psychological impacts such as low self-esteem and lack of confidence.

How to prevent paediatric squint?

Here are the steps you can follow to prevent squint eyes in children:

  • Regular Eye Examinations

Schedule regular eye check-up sessions with a qualified ophthalmologist at least once a year for early detection and diagnosis of squint or any other eye conditions that have the potential to cause squint eyes. 

  • Eye Exercises

Have a fun time with eye exercises with your children. This can help strengthen eye muscles and improve eye movement and coordination. 

  • Limit Screen Time

Excessive screen time can cause fatigue, headache and loss of vision in children. Make sure to strictly limit their screen time and maintain a safe distance between eyes and screen better for eye health in children. 

  • Proper Lighting

Proper lighting is essential while reading or watching. Make sure to have adequate lighting in your child’s play areas and study rooms.

Paediatric Squint Specialists in Bangalore

Squint eyes in children are worrisome and if not treated properly it can lead to underconfidence in children. Nethradhama Super Speciality Eye Hospital offers the best paediatric squint treatment and has been one of the best places for the treatment of paediatric eye diseases.

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