Squint, or to use the medical term strabismus, is an extremely common childhood condition, affecting around one in twenty children. Most squints develop by the time a child is around three years old. With normal vision both eyes look and focus on the same spot. The brain takes the information from both eyes and converts this into a 3-dimensional image. With a squint, the eyes are focussing on different points resulting in the brain being unable to form an image in the usual way. The brain adapts to this by ignoring the signals that it is receiving from the squinting eye, meaning that in effect a child affected with a squint is seeing with only one eye.
Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist, Professor Charles Claoué, is urging parents not to delay in seeking treatment if they suspect that their child has developed a squint. He says; “If you think that your child has a squint get a referral from your GP for a proper ophthalmic assessment straight away as treatment will need to be started as soon as possible to get the best outcome.” He adds: “If a squint is left untreated there is a risk that the normal visual pathways will fail to develop in the affected eye leading to permanently impaired binocular vision,” he adds.
Treating a Squint in Children by Professor Claoue