Squint Surgery

A squint (strabismus) is a condition where the eyes point in different directions.

Signs and symptoms of a squint
One of your child's eyes may turn inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards, while the other eye looks forward. Squints may not be constant, and a minor squint isn't always obvious.
A squint can cause blurred or double vision, but children may not realise there's a problem.
Left untreated, lazy eye (amblyopia) can develop. This is when the brain starts to ignore signals coming from the eye with the squint.

How are squints treated?
To be most successful and avoid long-term problems, most squints should be treated as soon as possible. Treatment is most effective in very young children.
Several types of treatment are available for squints, including:

  • Glasses – worn constantly to correct vision problems (refractive errors). Children are usually given plastic lenses instead of glass.

  • Eye exercises – in some cases, special eye exercises may help the eyes to work together.

  • Botulinum toxin injections into one of the eye muscles – the injection weakens the muscle, allowing the eyes to realign for around three months. The eyes may stay in position or may need further treatment. Children will usually be given a sedative before the injection.

Squint surgery
If other treatments aren't successful, surgery will probably be required. This involves moving the muscles that control the movement of the eye to improve their alignment and help the eyes work together.

Risks from surgery are rare, although sometimes more than one operation will be needed.