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Patient Resources  

    What is Squint?

    Squint or turned eye is a condition in which the two eyes are not straight or aligned. One eye may turn in, turn out or turn up while the other eye remains straight. Squint may be on one side or may alternate between the two eyes.

    What are the Causes of Squint?

    A squint may be inherited, and may run in families. Sometimes the condition is due to the eyes not being able to foucs properly due to need for eyeglasses or, occasionally, to some muscle abnormality. Very rarely, it may be due to a serious abnormality inside the eye, such as cataract or tumor.

    What happens to sight in eyes with squint ?

    • Defective binocular vision results in loss of depth perception.
    • The vision in the turned eye may be lost due to varitey of reasons.
      • A child is born with straight eye, but one eye turns in or out at about 2 years of age. If this condition is not treated urgently, vision may be reduced in the deviated eye. If treatment is begu immediately, however, good visiion can often be restored.The eye have an unequal foucs. If one eye is way out of focus compared to the other, the brain may ignore the image from that eye. This prevents development of normal vision in the affected eye a condition called amblyopia or lazy eye.
    • Sometimes the child with squint sees double. To compensate for this he develops the habit of looking with ab abnormal head posture-a sitution which may result in psycho-social problems

    Treatment of Squint

    The aim of treatment is to restore good vision to each eye and good binocular vision. It usually includes patching the eye that is always straight to bring the vision up to normal in the squinting eye. Glasses may be needed, particularly for eyes that have defective focus. Glasses may also help straighten the eyes. Surgery on the eye muscles is somtimes ncessary.

    The Result of treatement are good but depend on how quickly treatment is begnl. If treatment is unduly delayed, vision may not be restored. Do not delay if you child has squint. Seek advice of an eye specialist.

    Ealry mangement of squint in your child can help to save his vision



    Glaucoma is an important cause of blindess in chiren. According to out investigations, 12-15 % of blind children suffer from glaucoma. Glaucoma is characterized by a progressive build-up of pressure inside the eyeball, which causes gradual,but permanent, eye damage. Our eyes are in the shape of a small ball, about 2 cm wide. Most of the eyeball is filled with fluid which slowly circulates, carrying nutrition to the various working parts of the eye and finally leaves throught various channels into the blood. In children, due to some congenital defect, there is obstruction to the outflow of this fluid. Due to resulting accumulation of this fluid inside the eyeball, the prssure inside the eye begins to rise, and the sensitive inner surface of the eye is slowly squeezed cutting off its blood dupply. Simultanenoulsy the eyeball in the child start stretching abnormally due to this pressure and appears larger in volume. Little by little, the eye is damages. Little by little, the gift of sight is lost-this is glaucoma.

    How to identy Glaucoma in a Child- The role of Parents.

    A childe who is born with large eyes, with constant watering and does not open his/her eye in light (photophobia) may be suffering from congenital glaucoma. Sometimes these symptoms may not be prominent, and child may show other symptoms of defective vision like inability to follow accurately the direction of the sound, trying to see through half open eyes, repaid to and fro movments of the eyeball (nystagmus) and finally the child may comparatively less active for his age.

    Treatment of Glaucoma

    • In the presence of all or some these symptoms, immediately take your child to any eye specialist.
    • Get the rest of the children in the family also examined by an eye specialist.
    • Usual treatment of glaucoma in children is some form of sugery.

    however any unnecessary delay can make the preservation of useful vision very difficult.

    A Child with large eyes may appear beautiful, but he may be heading towrads blindess due to glaucoma

    Take care of your child before it is too late!


    What is Cataract ?

    The human eye functions like a camera. If the lens of the camera is soiled or smeared with grease, a very hazy picture will result. Cataract is cloding of a clear transparent lens inside the eye ball. This clouding prevents the image from being focues on the back of the eye.

    Cataract is the most important cause of blindess all over the world. Although it occurs commonly in old people, yet it can appear at any age. According to one of our surveys, 15-20% of blindness in children is because of cataract.

    What are the cuases of cataract in children ?

    • Most of the itmes the cuase of the cataract is not know.
    • A child born to a mother who had rubella during the early part of her pregnancy may suffer from catarat. Such a child may not only become blind but may also be at risk of losing his life beacuse of other rubella related problems like congenital heart disease etc. Consequently all children born with cataract must also be examined by a child specialit.
    • Other important causes of cataract in children are hereditary factors and injury.

    How to identify cataract in your child?

    • The ppearance of a white spot in one or oth eyes.
    • Sometimes this may not be very prominent, and child may show other symptoms of defective vision like inablity to follow accurately the direction of the sound, rapid to and fro movements of the eyeball (nystagmus) and finally the child may be comparatively less active for his/her age.
      • Somestimes the child may present with squint.

    Treatment and prevention of cataract in children

    • Since cataract can run in families, the rest of the children in your family shold also be examined by an eye specialist.
    • All girls above 12 years of age should have caccination against Rubella.
    • The practice of interfamily marriages where hereditary diseases are prevalent needs to be discourages.
    • Please protect your child against eye trauma.
    • The only cure for cataract is early opertaions. This invlolves removal of cataract followed by implantaion of an intra-ocular lens (IOL). If an IOL is not implanted then the child will have to wear thick glasses for the rest of his/her life.
    • Remember ! The surgery for cataract in a child can be performed at any stage, but it gives useful results only it is carried out as early as possible.
    • Remember ! Take you child to a well equipped hospital where the eye specialist has the required training in child eye surgery. Pediatric Ophthalmology unit at Al-Shifa Trust eye Hospital has all the facilities for this purpose.

    Cataract is completely treatable;

    your child can see again


    Vitamin A Deficiency

    Vitamin a plays an important role in the growth & developement of a child. It is vitally important for preservation of night vision. Usually small children are at risk. Poverty, larg family size, inadequate child spacing, lack of adequate and balanced food combined with inadequate breast feeding and improper weaning, measles, chronic diarrhea etc. are the major precipitating factors.

    What are the symptoms of Vitamin A deficieny ?

    Usually the child reamins ill with repeated attacks of respiratory tract infections (cough), diarrhea, fever, and is very eak or malnourished. When vitamin A deficieny becomes quite server, the eye is involved and the child usually becomes inactive after dark because of night blindess. The child also develops a yellowish white, foamy spot over the white area of eyeball (Bitot's spot). It has been observed that when mothres apply "surma" (antimony powder) to the eyes of such a child, this spot becomes stained by surma ("surma Sign"). As the situation worsens, eye start watering and gradually the cornea(anterior part of they eye melts ways with ulitmate loss os sight.

    Remember, all children with these symptoms are at the brink of death because not only will they become blind but will also suffer from much more serious diseases. In theser circumstances, immediately consult any eye specialist.

    Prevention & treatment of Vitamin A deficieny

    • Vitamin A is found is aboundance in dark green leafy vegetables, red palm old, yellow fruits (mango, papaya), egg, milk and fish. Regular use of these gives the child enough Vitamin A.
    • The pregnant mothers should also use these sources of vitamin A.
    • Mothers shuld be encourages to breast feed their children for full tow years.
    • Weaning should start at 4 months of age together with use of vitamin a containing foods.
    • Every child must be vaccinated for measles by the age of 9 months.
    • All the pregnant and lactating mohters at risk should also take the adequate dose of vitamin A after consulting the doctor.
    • If you find one child with vitamin A deficieny, look for more children in that area

    Vitamin A deficieny is life threatening and potentially blinding, save the life and sight of your child.


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