|Squints in Adults
The medical name for squints is Ďadult stabismusí and it has been estimated that four in every 100 adults suffer from this condition. Adult squints problems are of two main types: non-paralytic or paralytic. The non-paralytic kind may be a longstanding squint that was left over from childhood or it may be caused due to a local eye muscle imbalance. The paralytic squint may have developed as a result of other health problems, such as damage to cranial nerves. This can arise following head injury or as a complication of diabetes or stroke. Such people will, most likely, suffer from troublesome double vision.
Symptoms of adult squint problems include fatigue, double vision, difficulty with near vision and loss of stereo vision. To compensate for this, individuals will often adopt an abnormal head position.
As with children, eyes can be aligned through the use of glasses and prisms or by eye muscle surgery. Adults are often given Botulinum Toxin (Botox) injections, administered into the target eye muscle with a very fine needle. Patients notice an improved appearance in their squint within 3-7 days after the treatment. The effects last up to 3 to 4 months, after which the injection can be repeated or in some cases definitive squint surgery may be planned.
If the solution is to operate, then the muscles attached to the outside of each eyeball are detached from their original position and reattached backwards or forwards to make the eye straight. The procedure is sometimes done under local anesthetic in adults and always under general anesthesia in children. More than one operation may be required - in fact the world average for resolving adult squint problems is 2.3 operations.