What is Squint?

Squint is misalignment between the two eyes. It may be caused by muscle weakness or neurological problems. The two pupils seem to look in two different directions. The most common complaint for a person having a squint problem is double vision. Patients may wish to have this fault rectified for cosmetic purposes.

What should you look for in your child?

Take a good look at your child while he/she is playing on watching a book/TV and note if any of the following are present.

  • Squeezing his/her eyes while looking at book/TV/Toys.
  • Tilting the head while talking, walking/ playing.
  • Going too close to the book or TV.
  • Recurrent eye pains, headaches.
  • Avoids reading, colouring most of the time.
  • Has bad handwriting at school.
  • Eyes turning inwards/outwards.
  • Difficulty in seeing in sunlight, bright light on the evening.
  • Itching, watering.

If any of the above are present then you should suspect the child to have a possibility of eye problem. The problem could be either glasses or squinting of the eyes. These are easily treated and a proper screening of the child having any of the above complaints is needed to rule out any other causes as well.

Should all children be screened?

All children should be seen by an eye doctor for the first time at 3-4 years of age . However if any of the following are present then the child should be brought to the eye doctor at the earliest:

  • One on both parents wearing glasses
  • History of consanguinity (marriage among cousins) in family
  • Premature delivery
  • Birth weight less than 1.5 Kgs.
  • History of any congenital defects like heart, kidney etc.
  • History of febrile fits or any convulsion.
  • History of admission in the ICU- incubation/ ventilation given to child.
  • Behavioral disorders or any developmental delay in the child.
  • History of colour blindness and retinal disease in family.
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