Strabismus: how to correct it?
What is strabismus?
We all have in mind the image of Strabismus Epinal: eyes "that squint" and which meet at the level of the nose. But this stereotype does not quite reflect the reality, according to Véronique Morin, orthoptist, optometrist and optician: " in case of strabismus, there is only one eye that turns (outward, inward, upward or downward): the other eye is not concerned. And it's more of a problem that occurs during early childhood ". It's good to know !
There are 2 types of strabismus: anatomic strabismus and the accommodative strabismus.
- The anatomic strabismus is congenital, which means that it is present from birth: it results from a lack of innervation or length of the muscles of the eye (too long or too short). In addition to the genetic risk factor, anatomical strabismus is more likely in children born prematurely (birth to less than 32 weeks of amenorrhea and / or with a weight of less than or equal to 2,100 kg).
- The accommodative strabismus appears rather between 18 months and 2 years: it is generally the consequence of a non-corrected birth hyperopia. " A child who suffers from farsightedness sees blur, so his eyes will set up strategies of accommodation, resulting in a convergence of one eye, it is a compensation "develops Véronique Morin.
To know : Strabismus is permanent! When one eye turns "from time to time" (in case of fatigue, for example), one will speak rather about "phorie".
Strabism, is it serious?
One would think that strabismus is only an aesthetic problem - it is the famous "coquetry in the eye"! However, according to Véronique Morin, strabismus is a real health problem that can have serious consequences for vision in adulthood.
" The problem is that the visual abilities of the baby are under construction during his first 6 years, explains the specialist. However, strabismus will "block" the development of the vision on the eye that turns. If strabismus is not cared for before the child's 6 years, there is a (significant) risk that the concerned eye will not develop at all - very clearly, the child can become one-eyed! "
To know : once the diagnosis of "strabismus" is made, a race against the clock commits itself, since the visual abilities cease to develop after 6 years: " we lose what has not developed and it is irretrievable: it is amblyopia "says Véronique Morin.
How do we correct strabismus?
Strabism, how is it? Normally, strabismus should be detected by the pediatrician or the general practitioner during post-natal appointments (at 8 days, 9 months, 24 months ...).
" There is a very simple test that young parents can do at home, explains Véronique Morin. Put yourself in front of your child and take a picture with the flash: then look closely at the picture. "
" In a child who has no strabismus, the two "light points" related to the flash will be centered in the middle of the pupil; On the other hand, in a child who suffers from strabismus, there will be a shift - at one eye, the corneal reflection will not be centered. "Do not hesitate to take several pictures ... and to quickly ask for an appointment with your pediatrician!
In case of strabismus, 3 solutions can be put in place:
- If it is an anatomic strabismus, it is necessary to operate in order to resize the muscle.
- If it is an accommodative squint, no operation: a pair of glasses is enough to straighten the eye concerned. " Warning: as the child grows quickly, it will be necessary to change the correction often, says the specialist. Ophthalmological follow-up will be put in place. "
- "In emergency, to limit amblyopia, an occlusive dressing will be placed on the eye that does not rotate in order to force the other eye to develop."
Thanks to Véronique Morin, Orthoptist, Optometrist and Optician, Training Manager for theNational Association for the Improvement of the Vision (ASNAV).
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