Squint Surgery

Helpful Information About Squint Surgery

Strabismus is an eye condition that often requires squint surgery if other treatment methods are unsuccessful.  Individuals that have strabismus have eyes that do not point in the same direction.  Wandering eye, lazy eye, cross eyed and squint are all descriptive words used to describe this condition.

Problems With Strabismus

Quite often, adults who have had perfectly aligned eyes who all of a sudden develop this condition will usually also suffer from double vision.  This can be quite bothersome and interfering of daily tasks such as driving.

Also, some people that have strabismus will strain to hold their eyes together and end up with severe headaches.  They may also tilt their head in a specific way to align their eyes which can lead to neck and muscular problems.

Causes

It is reported that about four percent of adults have eyes that are misaligned.  Most commonly it is from childhood.  The problem usually begins at a point where the patient can adjust one eye to avoid double vision.  Sometimes these individuals may have even had surgery to correct the problem but then their eyes drifted out of place again.

Weakness, thyroid disease, damage to the nerves, head injuries and circulatory problems are all causes as well.

Treatment Options

There are a few ways to treat strabismus.  The first three options are typically exhausted first before a doctor will recommend squint surgery.

  1. Glasses – Depending on the severity of the individual's case, glasses may be all that is needed to realign the patient's eyes.
  1. Prisms – By placing plastic prisms of a specific strength on the spectacle lenses, the eyes can be realigned.  These are helpful if the strabismus is minor or if surgery is not an option.
  1. Botox – When Botox is injected in a muscle it causes it to be substantially weakened for up to four months.  After the eye receives anesthetic drugs to numb it, the Botox is then injected into the muscle of the appropriate eye using an extremely fine needle.  This is performed in a clinic and used to asses the risk of the patient developing double vision and may be also used after squint surgery is done to help the eyes stay in place.
  1. Squint surgery – For some people, surgery is the only effective treatment option.  Surgery will typically eliminate double vision, improve three-dimensional vision, eliminate abnormal head posture and improve vocational status as well as psychosocial function.

What Does The Surgery Involve?

Squint surgery is typically performed under general anesthetic however, some patients will choose to undergo the surgery totally awake with just a local anesthetic.

Contrary to popular belief, the eye is not removed during the surgery.  To straighten your eyes, the surgeon uses both muscle weakening and strengthening procedures.

 

Most surgeries are carried out by using a type of adjustable stitch technique that ties the muscles back to the eye with a knot and a bow.  This allows the surgeon to position the eye completely after the patient wakes up from the surgery.  By applying numbing drops to the eye, the knot is easily undone and then the muscle position is altered.

Squint surgery uses extremely fine stitches that dissolve by themselves so removal is not necessary.  The eye is usually red and offers an uncomfortable feeling for up to three weeks however, most patients return to their typical daily activity within three days of surgery.  Swimming must be avoided for one month.  Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops are generally administered for two weeks after surgery which reduces swelling and prevents infection.

It is not uncommon for some people to experience double vision temporarily for a small amount of time while their eyes are adjusting to their proper position.  It is extremely important to only trust squint surgery to someone who is well experienced with the procedure.