What is strabismus in childhood?
It is an alteration of the alignment of the eyes (both eyes don’t look simultaneously at the same point). Ocular deviation can be horizontal (in or out) or can be vertical (up or down) and can appear at any age and for different reasons. The strabismus can be constants (all day) or variable (the eyes deviate more or less throughout the day or circumstances of the child).
All children with ocular deviation should be evaluated by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Some diseases of the retina, the optic nerve or cataracts can hide behind a strabismus, so it is very important a complete eye examination. It is very common to find refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism) behind a squint and sometimes the placement of shooting glasses can solve it.
How can it be treated?
- Only glasses
- Only surgery
- Combination of glasses and surgery
The most serious consequence of a strabismus is amblyopia (more commonly known as “lazy eye”). The child is kept straight eye that finds it easier to focus on the images and look with that, on the contrary the deviated eye is not “working” and does not develop properly turning it into a “lazy eye”. As soon as possible the amblyopia is detected, the easier it is its recovery. It is very important to treat it before 7-8 years since on the 9 years is reached the ultimate vision.