What is Strabismus?
Strabismus, also known as squint, is a condition that affects the coordination of the eye muscles, causing the eyes to point in different directions. It’s like a miscommunication between the eyes, making it difficult for them to work together and focus on the same spot. Sometimes, one eye may look straight ahead while the other eye turns inward, outward, upward, or downward. This misalignment can be constant or come and go. It can be quite noticeable, and it may affect a person’s appearance or cause visual disturbances. Treatment options are available to help align the eyes and improve vision in individuals with strabismus.
What is Amblyopia ?
Amblyopia, also known as the lazy or weak eye, is a condition where one eye has reduced vision because the connection between that eye and the brain’s visual centre has not developed to its full potential.
Here are some clues that can help identify children with amblyopia:
- Look for differences in the position of the light reflection on the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) of each eye. If the reflections are not in the same corresponding position on each eye, it could indicate turned eye (strabismus) is present which is a common cause of amblyopia.
- Sometimes, children have folds of skin on the inner side of their eyes (epicanthic folds) which may give the impression that the child has a turned eye, particularly if they are not looking straight ahead, when in fact their eyes are straight based on corneal light reflections.
- In this day and age, almost all of us take pictures of our children on our mobile phones and this is very useful to be able to show your treating eye specialist why you are concerned that your child might have a turned eye.
- Taking pictures at night without using “red eye” reducing filters can sometimes also be useful in picking up other causes that may result in amblyopia. Instead of a red reflex, there may be no red reflex at all or a complete or partial white reflex which may indicate a congenital cataract or a growth in the eye, or asymmetry in the refractive error or prescription between the two eyes.