About Squint Surgery
A squint is a condition where the eyes point in different directions. One eye may turn inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards while the other eye looks forward. The medical name for a squint is strabismus. Squints can also cause:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- lazy eye (amblyopia) - when the brain starts to ignore signals coming from the eye with the squint.
Why do squints happen?
It is not always apparent what causes a squint. Some babies are born with a squint (called a congenital squint) and some develop it later (acquired squint). Acquired squints are often caused by the eye attempting to overcome a vision problem, such as short-sightedness or long-sightedness.
How are squints treated?
Most squints need to be treated as soon as possible to improve the chances of successful treatment. Common treatments include glasses and eye exercises. If your child has a lazy eye, they may need to wear an eye patch for a few weeks to improve their vision in the affected eye. If these treatments aren't successful, corrective surgery will most likely be required. This involves moving the muscles that control the movement of the eye. Risks from surgery are rare, although sometimes more than one operation will be needed. Occasionally, squints corrected during childhood reappear in adulthood. You should visit your GP as soon as possible if you develop a new squint.
Recovering from surgery
It can take several weeks to fully recover from corrective squint surgery. During this time, the eye may feel painful or itchy for a short time and you may have temporary double vision.