Strabismus, commonly known as squint, refers to a deviation from the parallel position of both eyes. But coordinated collaboration of the eyes is required for spatial perception. So if the visual axes deviate from each other, it is not just a cosmetic problem, but a disorder in the child’s visual development. Since the brain switches off the weaker eye, this often leads to amblyopia (i.e. decreased eye sight) and consequently to visual disturbances (e.g. double vision), which, if left untreated, can result in considerable restrictions to the patient’s quality of life.
With early diagnosis and treatment, there is a very good chance that your child will develop a normal vision and a larger visual field. Of course, the cosmetic aspect should not be neglected. Depending on the angle of strabismus, strabismus surgery is the right therapeutic approach. In cases of minor misalignment or low strabismus angle, treatment begins with prism glasses and patching.
If non-conservative treatment (glasses and patching) for strabismus is not sufficient, you may consider strabismus surgery. The position of the eye muscles that move the eyes is corrected. Depending on the cause of the malposition, the eyes’ muscles can be repositioned or tightened, thus changing the direction of traction. An orthoptic examination prior to the surgery determines the exact corrections to be made. The goal is to straighten the squinting eye as much as possible and achieve a normal visual axis. The access to the muscles is made through small incisions in the conjunctiva. The procedure can therefore be performed on an outpatient (ambulatory) basis under general anesthesia, so that your child does not notice anything, and you can take him or her home again the same day. Strabismus surgery is one of the low-risk procedures and yet will have a great positive impact on visual development. In most cases, this strabismus treatment is promising and leads to a nearly parallel position of both eyes. We will be happy to explain the procedure to you in detail before the strabismus surgery.
The first contact and the preliminary examinations all take place directly in our Bellevue Eye Clinic in Zurich. Here we make the exact diagnosis and advise you on possible therapeutic approaches. If you decide to undergo surgical correction, we will schedule an appointment at the clinic. We perform strabismus surgery for children at the renowned Children’s Hospital (“Kispi”) in Zurich. Follow-up care and further treatment of amblyopia, if necessary, takes place at our eye clinic again.