My name is John Sloper.
specialising in the treatment
of squints and children with lazy eyes.
A squint occurs when the two eyes
don't point in the same direction.
This means that the two eyes
see different things
brain can't combine the images
from the two eyes.
As a result
the brain ignores one eye
vision in that eye
and this is termed amblyopia.
is a very common problem,
affecting about one child in 20.
Squints can come on
in children at any age,
commonly either in very small babies
between four and six months
or else at the age of two or three,
up to about the age of seven,
that's the age at which
it can affect the development of vision.
The main thing that parents notice
is that the
two eyes are not pointing
in the same direction.
They can see this
when they look at the child.
Sometimes the eyes are like this all
time, sometimes just some of the time.
A lazy eye is more difficult to diagnose
can also occur because
the focus in the two eyes is different,
and so the
vision in one eye
this is not detected
and can be a problem.
When we first see a child with a squint,
question is whether
the vision is good in both eyes.
The first line of treatment
for poor vision is usually glasses,
the child is used to glasses
then we may need to patch the good eye
to improve the vision in the poor eye.
This will result in good vision
in both eyes
in about 80
per cent of children
who we see.
When we treat a child with a squint,
we're aiming to achieve three things.
The first is to get good vision
in both eyes,
and that is
usually achieved by patching
and can usually be done.
The second is to try
and make the eyes work together.
This we achieve
in a minority of children,
but can be very useful when we do it.
The third thing we can usually
is to make the eyes look straight.
This is very important for the child
in interacting with their friends.
is a little bit uncomfortable,
eyes usually settle down
children bounce back very quickly
from squint surgery.
When we achieve good vision in each
this is usually permanent,
and if the
eyes work together
this is normally long-lasting.
If the eyes don't work together,
then over a
number of years,
often 20 or 30 years,
the affected eye may drift out again
can be corrected
with further squint surgery as an adult.
Most children are much happier
after squint surgery
and parents often comment
like their balance
and coordination are better.
Complications of squint surgery
are fortunately extremely rare.
Most squint surgery
is done as a day case.
The child comes into hospital
first thing in the morning,
has surgery during the morning
and is able
to go home usually
during the course of the afternoon.
If you're concerned
that your child has a squint,
thing to do
is to consult your general practitioner.
They can then refer you
appropriate eye department
in an eye hospital.
Squints are a common problem and
a lot can be done to improve squints,
that we see children with squints early
earlier we see them, the better
the results, in general, of treatment.