What is strabismus?
Strabismus, or squint, refers to the inability of the eyes to focus on the same object at the same time. One or both of the eyes may turn in, out, up or down. The muscles of the eye receive signals from the brain that direct their movements. Normally, the eyes work together so they both point in the same direction or towards the same object. When problems develop with proper eye movement control and alignment, strabismus usually develops.
Strabismus usually develops in infants and young children, most often by the age of three. However, it is possible for older children and adults to develop the condition. If untreated, the condition may worsen.
There is a range of non-surgical treatment options available for strabismus. If strabismus surgery, or eye muscle surgery, is required, an ophthalmologist uses this approach to improve eye alignment by loosening or tightening eye muscles, which changes the alignment of the eyes relative to each other. Ophthalmologists have a range of surgical options available to them to treat different classifications of strabismus.
There are numerous benefits of strabismus surgery beyond restoring normal appearance, including: improved visual fields, improved depth perception, the elimination or minimisation of double vision and, most importantly, improved social function, as eye contact is hugely important in every-day communication and interaction.