What is a squint?

Squint - a squint, or strabismus, is the name given to a condition in which both eyes do not point in the same direction. The movements of the eyeballs depend upon the action of six muscles, four of which are straight and two slanting. Defects in these may produce a squint. Long-sightedness in children often produces an inward squint, especially if the child is looking at something close at hand. Short-sightedness may produce an outward squint. Paralysis is the usual cause of a squint which appears after the years of childhood. This is caused by some disease affecting the brain or the nerves of the eye muscles. If one eye has better vision than the other the good eye may be used much more than the other, which may begin to function less and less well. Treatment for squinting must begin as early as possible with the wearing of glasses, which may have one dark lens over the good eye to stop it being used. This prevents the bad eye from becoming worse. Special exercises, called orthoptic exercises, which help to strengthen the eye muscles, are given and, in some cases, an operation is necessary to strengthen a weak eye muscle or to weaken an over strong one.     

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