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Strabismus (Squinting)

Squinting eyes

Strabismus, also called squinting, describes a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object.

Contact lenses and glasses can correct strabismus, but it is necessary to know what type of strabismus it is. An ophthalmologist or optician can find out which form of strabismus you have in a comprehensive eye examination.

Read our medical commentary on strabismus, explained by the ophthalmologist Dr. Maja Mineva.

The medical explanation of strabismus

Strabismus is a disease in which the visual axis of one of the eyes deviates from the fixed object. In this condition, binocular vision is severely impaired.

The movements of the eyeball are made of six torsional muscles. In order to coordinate the gaze directions properly, all torsional muscles must work in full synchrony. Various factors – genetic, refractive anomalies, anatomical changes in the orbits, changes in muscles and ligaments – can all cause a lack of harmonious action between the muscles driving the eye.

Depending on the direction of diversion of the eye, strabismus can be:

  • Convergent (strabismus convergence, esotropia) – the eye deviates inward
  • Divergent (strabismus divergence, exotropia) – the eye is diverted outwards.

The algorithm for diagnosing children with suspected strabismus includes taking a history from their parents, examining visual acuity, the eye movements of the eyeballs, the opacity of the eyes, measuring the angle of deviation, prism tests and more. The treatment of strabismus develops and goes through different periods.

The current trends require a comprehensive approach combining conservative (optical and pleopic treatment) and operative methods. The purpose of optical correction (glasses or contact lenses) is to improve the clarity of perceived images.

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