Squint (also known as strabismus) is a condition that arises because of an incorrect balance of the muscles that move the eye, faulty nerve signals to the eye muscles and focusing faults (usually long sight). If these are out of balance, the eye may turn in (converge), turn out (diverge) or sometimes turn up or down, preventing the eyes from working properly together.
Squint can occur at any age. A baby can be born with a squint or develop one soon after birth. Around five to eight per cent of children are affected by a squint or a squint-related condition, which means one or two in every group of 30 children.
If a child appears to have a squint after they are six weeks old, it is important to get their eyes tested by an optometrist as soon as possible. Many children with squints have poor vision in the affected eye. If treatment is needed, the sooner it is started the better the results.
The video below should be viewed in conjunction with the text beneath it and preferably watched while your optometrist discusses it with you.
- Normally, the two eyes point in the same direction.
- A “squint” or “strabismus” occurs when the two eyes are misaligned.
- This can happen in either eye and the misalignment can be in any direction.
- A squint may occur for a number of reasons.
- Sometimes, one or more of the muscles that move the eyes is in the wrong place.
- Sometimes the muscles do not work as they should.
- A longstanding squint does not usually affect vision
- … although the squinting eye may be “lazy”.
- A recent squint can result in double vision and should be fully investigated.