How does a squint affect a child’s eyesight?

If your child develops a squint it means each eye is looking in a different direction and their eyes are sending different pictures to the brain. Their brain finds it difficult to merge the two pictures into one clear image because the pictures are so different. The brain adapts to cope with this by ignoring the pictures coming from the eye which has the squint using only the vision from the better/straight eye.

This can lead to amblyopia in the eye which has the squint. Amblyopia is caused when the visual system doesn't develop correctly in one eye, causing the vision to be blurred in that eye even when a child is wearing the correct glasses they need. An eye that has amblyopia can also be called a lazy eye.

Amblyopia can lead to a permanent reduction in how well the affected eye can see. There are different ways to treat an amblyopic eye and treatment is more successful before the age of 7 or 8, as vision is still developing.

Unfortunately, amblyopia cannot be fixed in later life so it is very important that squints and amblyopia are picked up early and treated as soon as possible.

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