Introduction

Strabismus which is also commonly known as squint eye condition can occur in a child at a very early age.  This can cause psychosocial distress and permanent functional disability if not consulted by a squint specialist in Mumbai. Early diagnosis is important to cure the visual condition and reduce the risk of amblyopia. Further, abnormal vision conditions during the early growth years can result in degradation of vision and can even result in other vision issues. What is more alarming about the squint eye condition is that many cases go undetected or unrecognized which eventually slows and narrows down the recovery process. Speaking more about the squint eye condition, in today’s article we have covered details that explain the condition of strabismus and the screening process, and ways to manage or treat the condition. 

Causes of Squint eye condition

Squint eye condition in a child can be either primary or secondary (acquired). The most commonly recognized primary cause of the condition includes a family history of strabismus, premature birth, and low birth weight. While the Secondary cause is often associated with neurological, such as head trauma, infection, and other medical disorders. Amblyopia can be the resultant condition of strabismus (either primary or secondary). However, on the contrary, amblyopia can also be a cause of secondary strabismus.

So, basically, a degraded visual condition of one eye may result in the other eye drifting out of alignment. Squint or Strabismus can also be the result of uncorrected refractive abnormalities, such as myopia and hyperopia. Consulting a squint eye specialist in Mumbai is highly recommended to detect, identify and treat the cause and condition at the earliest. Given below are details of the various screening tests conducted by pediatric ophthalmologists in Mumbai for testing the squint eye condition. 

Screening Tests                                                                           

Screening tests for squint or strabismus involve four practical tests which typically include the light reflex test, the red reflex test, the cover test, and the uncover test. All four types of screening tests are explained below for your better understanding.  

Light Reflex Test- The child is placed at a distance of 1 m in front of the doctor from where he directs light. The child’s attention is brought to the light and the position of the light’s reflection in each of the child’s eyes is noted and compared. In of case normal ocular alignment, an identical light reflection is generated in each eye. However, deflection of the light reflex indicates abnormal ocular alignment.

Red reflex Test- The child is placed at a distance of 0.5 m from the doctor and its attention is directed towards the ophthalmoscope held in the doctor’s hand. In this case, the doctor attempts to visualize the red reflex of both eyes simultaneously. If there is any difference in the reflex in terms of size shape or color it is considered abnormal

Cover Test- The doctor stands in front of the child covering its one eye and directs its attention to a target may be a light or a toy. The doctor then closely observes the uncovered eye for corrective movement. The test is often repeated on each eye When the uncovered eye moves from its deviated position and takes up correct fixation the movement indicates that manifest strabismus is present in the uncovered eye. 

Uncover Test- In this test, the doctor covers the child’s eyes for 5 seconds and directs its attention to a target, and the cover is then quickly removed. The doctor then observes the movement of the newly suddenly uncovered eye for corrective movement. So, in this case, an abnormal eye often drifts into a deviated position when covered, and once uncovered, the eye returns to correct fixation. The movement accordingly will indicate the presence of strabismus in the eye. The uncover test is performed on both eyes.

Treatment of Squint or Strabismus

Children diagnosed with strabismus or squint eye are required to consult a pediatric ophthalmologist in Mumbai for a detailed assessment of the condition. Depending on the condition the type of strabismus and severity treatments are accordingly suggested. Generally, in case of early detection and treatment, it would include non-surgical interventions such as refractive error correction with spectacles or contact lenses, and amblyopia therapy with patching use of prisms in glasses, behavioral eye exercises, etc.  If conditions are severe the doctor may recommend surgery. It is important to understand that the primary goal of the treatment is to prevent amblyopia, achieve binocular vision with functional depth perception and then achieve better cosmesis.