Strabismus or squint eye is an ailment wherein eyes are not aligned correctly. Any one of the eye will either turn upwards (Hypertropia), inwards (Esotropia), outwards (Exotropia) or downwards (Hypotropia). The perfect cause for squint eye is yet to be known. Some infants have squint eye right from their birth (Congenital), while some may develop it sometime later (Acquired).
The primary reasons that cause acquired squint occur due to attempts made by the eye to overcome refractive errors or vision problems.
There problems include:
- Myopia: Reduction in the ability to view distant objects
- Hyperopia: Reduction in the ability to view close objects
- Astigmatism: Cornea gets unevenly curved causing blurred vision
In some rare cases, squint eye may also be caused due to:
- Childhood ailments like measles
- Genetic conditions like cerebral palsy or Down’s syndrome
- Hydrocephalus which is caused due to fluid build-up in brain
- Some issues that affect retina
Is it time to visit your doctor?
It is normal that eyes of infants will be cross occasionally; especially if the baby is tired. However, if this condition is witnessed post three months from birth, visiting your doctor is recommended.
A child may look with an eye closed towards you or with head tilted to one side. This actually means that the child is troubled due to double vision. This sign could also mean that the child has squint eye. If this condition occurs regularly, a doctor visit is due.
Signs & Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of misaligned eye may be visibly apparent in the affected individual.
Common symptoms include:
- Double vision
- Strain on eyes
- Jittery vision
- Fatigue when reading
- Inability to read comfortably
- Loss of depth perception
- Impaired vision
The treatment for squint eye is more effective if done during the earlier stage of this ailment. If this condition is not treated, it can lead to amblyopia (Lazy eye). It such a condition is reached, the brain will start to ignore all inputs from the affected eye.
There are various treatment options such as wearing glasses, eye exercises or injections that can be used for treating Strabismus; however, if all these methods fail, surgery is the only option left. Surgery will aid in improvement of eye alignment and thereby appearance. It will help in allowing eyes to work in tandem.
General anaesthesia is used for operation and the process is completed within an hour. Usually, squint eye surgery is performed during the day so that patients can leave for their homes that very day.
During surgery, the affected eye is kept open with the use of a “lid speculum” named instrument. The eye specialist will then detach one muscle part that is connected to the affected eye and move it in the backward direction for weakening the pulling effect. This may also be done to shorten the muscle part from affected eye for increasing the pulling effect. Once this correction is performed, muscles are then sewn back to place with use of dis-solvable stitches.
Cost of Strabismus surgery in India
When it comes to surgery, people always advocate caution. This provokes them to hunt for surgery options at different clinics or well-known hospitals. This means that the cost of surgery will depend on the hospital or clinic chosen. The city of residence is also a factor that may increase or decrease cost. You can check here for squint eye surgery (Strabismus surgery) costs across different cities in India.
Finally, remember that recovery post squint eye surgery may take some weeks. Your eye may experience a feeling of itchiness or pain along with double vision for a temporary period. Hence, occasional visits to your doctor are needed.