Squint (Strabismus)

Lasik Surgery

Latent or Hidden squint (also known as Strabismus or crossed eyes) describes the situation where the eyes move out of the aligned state when they are dissociated.

Seeing with both the eyes together yields definite advantages - a person's vision is more clear and three dimensional and his field of vision is enlarged.

For binocular single vision, both the eyes should be accurately directed towards the object of attention. For this, the various eye-muscles have to work in a coordinated and balanced manner.

Many a time, a particular set of eye muscles is weak as compared to the others and, therefore, the eyes have a tendency to deviate in a particular direction. However, to gain the advantages of binocular vision, the brain keeps such tendency for squinting under check, by constantly overworking the weak muscles.

Such a condition in which the tendency to Squinting is not allowed to become manifest and the two eyes are usually maintained parallel and straight by a constant effort from the brain is called heterophoria or hidden squint or strabismus.

Such constant overworking of the weak muscles has its deleterious effects. A person with a hidden squint commonly suffers from eye-strain, undue eye-fatigue, headaches and occasional double vision.

When the muscles that move eyes inward (nasally) are weak (and therefore the eyes tend to deviate outward), the condition is called exophoria. If the muscles moving the eyes outward are weak, the condition is called esophoria. The incidence of upward or downward deviation (hidden vertical squint) is very low.

Squint - exophoria & esophoria

Test for Squint

To test whether you are suffering from Squint, you would a distant vision chart, a 3 x 5 inch card.

If you need glasses to see clearly, then you should use them.

Test Procedure:

(1) Sit or stand fifteen feet from the distant vision chart.

(2) Select a small letter of the chart and look steadily at it with both the eyes.

(3) Cover the right eye with the small card so as to occlude its vision; however, the eye should be kept open behind the card .

(4) Move the card very quickly from your right eye to your left eye without moving your head and ensuring that during the process, the right eye vision is not obstructed.

(5) Does the letter appear to 'jump' or move when you change your gaze from your left eye to the right eye? In which direction did the letter move-from left to right (i.e., from nose toward the right ear) or vice versa? What was the extent of the movement?

Evaluation of Your Test Result

If the target letter does not move, you do not have a hidden squint, i.e. the muscle-balance is good.

If the letter moves or jumps from the left to the right direction, you have exophoria and if it jumps from the right to the left, you have esophoria.

If the letter moves less than one inch in either direction, your phoria is extremely slight, indeed insignificant.

If the letter moves one to three inches, you have a slight phoria; if the letter moves three to six inches, you have a moderate phoria and if the letter moves more than six inches, you have severe phoria.

Guidelines For Eye Exercises

Before we go on to the eye exercises for farsightedness, there are a few points to take note of:

1. First, read and understand the steps of each eye exercise carefully.

2. Do not use glasses or contact unless you are instructed to.

3. Do the eye exercises in in non-glaring light. Vision chart or targets should be well lit at all times.

4. If the eye exercise requires you to close the eye, do so gently.

5. Do not strain your eyes while doing the eye exercise. The result would be better if you do not strain your eyes.

6. Rest your eyes after each eye exercise, and also at the end of the whole eye exercise. To relax your eyes, perform the eye relaxation exercises.

7. As our eyes are tired after a whole-day work, early morning is the best time for eye exercises.

8. If you do not have enough time to complete all the eye exercises for farsightedness, you can do some in the morning and finish the rest in the later part of the day.

9. Learn about the different stages that you will experience when you begin to build your visual habits: The different stages as you build your visual habit.

Suggested Exercises for Squint

To accelerate the progress of this vision therapy, we recommend that you download and practise "The 10 powerful visual techniques" daily:

1. Focal Flexibility Exercise - Alternate Near & Far Gaze

2. Eye Exercise - Thumb Pursuits

3. Simple Fusion Exercise
This exercise helps to overcome suppression and facilitate fusion.

4. Reading with a card interposed between two eyes
This interesting exercise stimulates simultaneous vision with the two eyes and strengthens fusion.

5. Two coin fusion exercisesThis eye exercise will help to improve our retinae by improving their ability to fuse two images.

It should be noted that a refractive error (e.g. Myopia) and a muscular problem (e.g. convergence insufficiency or exophoria) may co-exist in a person. Such a person will have to do exercises simultaneously to correct both types of eye disorders.

Related Link
FAQ on Strabismus (crossed eyes or squint)

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