Squint and paediatric ophthalmology clinic

The paediatric ophthalmology department at matashree netralaya deals with eye problems in children. Children may not complain if they do not see out of one or both eyes. Sometimes the only clue may be poor performance in school, as well as viewinh the balckboard at a very close distance. Hence, all children needs an eye exam at the time of starting schooling. Of the eye problems in children, the most important are refractive error, squint and amblyopia.

Refractive error

Refractive error or the need for glasses is the single most important cause of vision impairment in children. This may lead to permanent deficiency in vision if not detected and treated early.

What is squint

Squint occurs due to nerve injury or due to dysfunction of the muscles controlling the eye. The main symptom is that eye’s don’t look in exactly the same direction at the same time. It can be corrected by early treatment. These include appropriate spectacle correction, eye exercises, use of an eye patch and lastly surgery.

Lazy eye or amblyopia

Lazy eye or amblyopia is the term for poor vision in one or both eyes. It can result from refractive error, squint or several other causes. This needs to be identified and treated at an early age to recover vision.

retinopathy of prematurity (rop)

Infants born prematurely are at risk for developing retinopathy of prematurity (rop) which may lead to permanent blindness if not timely treated. Also such children are more prone to develop myopia, amblyopia or squint later in their life.

Cataract in children

Cataract can also occur in children which may be congenital, developmental or traumatic. The treatment involves surgical cataract removal.

Visual weakness of any kind among the children in five to ten years of age may also lead to this.

This happens when this problem of the child is not diagnosed and he is not given glasses to correct his vision. If power of both glasses for both the eyes is considerably different, the weaker eye may become slanted. Alternative squint may last forever, or in some cases it may appear on certain occasions. In the latter case it is difficult to diagnose it. This leads to mononocular vision. The brain starts neglecting the image appearing in slanted eye and after a certain age such eye loses its vision. As a result such patient's vision becomes restricted. This also hampers personality development of the child. As other children taunt such a child, he does not mix up with other children and becomes lonely. Or to hide his shortcoming, he becomes violent. When he grows up, this shortcoming of the eyes may become a restrictive factor in his job and marriage. It is necessary for parents of such children if their child has got such problems in his eyes, they should not be guided by superstitions and should not ignore it. With timely treatment they can save vision of slanted eye, but they can also provide binocular vision to the child by developing healthy coordination between the two eyes. In several cases, glasses and regular exercise may lead to healthy eyes of the child. Some parents are careless to ensure that the child wears the glasses. This is not proper. Even a two year old child may put on glasses.

Donot live with Squint

Several people treat squint as a God curse. This is not true. Squint is a disease of eyes and it can only be cured with timely treatment.