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Strabismus, commonly known as squint, is a condition in which the eyes are not aligned, meaning one eye is directed differently. In healthy individuals, the six muscles that control eye movement work together to lead both eyes in the same direction. However, those with strabismus experience difficulty controlling their eye movements and cannot maintain proper ocular alignment.

The majority of strabismus cases are caused by neuromuscular control problems related to eye movement, while issues with the actual eye muscles occur less frequently. Hereditary factors are known to play a role in strabismus, with approximately 30% of children with the condition having a family member who also suffers from it.

Strabismus is classified based on the direction of the misaligned or twisted eye, including inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia), or downward (hypotropia) deviation. 

At Narayana Nethradhama, our paediatric ophthalmologists conduct a thorough eye examination on anyone over four months old who appears to have strabismus, with particular attention paid to how the eyes focus and move. The analysis may include the following:

  • A medical history evaluation.

  • Visual acuity assessment.

  • Refraction test.

  • Focus and alignment tests.

  • A pupil dilation examination to assess the internal health of the eye.

Our state-of-the-art treatment methods are suitable for patients of all ages. The treatment of strabismus may include the following:

  • Contact lenses or glasses to correct uncorrected refractive errors.

  • Prism lenses bend light entering the eye, reducing the amount of eye twisting required to focus on objects.

  • Orthoptics or vision training can treat some types of strabismus, particularly convergence insufficiency.

  • Medications, including eye drops and ointments. Botulinum toxin type A injections (such as Botox) can weaken an overactive eye muscle. Depending on the patient's condition, these treatments can be used alone or in conjunction with surgery.

  • Patching treats amblyopia (lazy eye) in patients with strabismus.

  • Eye muscle surgery alters the length or position of the eye muscles to align the eyes properly. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia with dissolvable sutures. Adjustable strabismus surgery may be offered to adults, where the eye muscle positions are modified post-surgery.

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