Strabismus or a squint is the name given to a condition where the two eyes are not looking in the same direction at the same time. Whilst one eye maybe focussed on the object ahead, the other eye maybe turned in or out or up or down.
The problem is seen mainly in small children and it is at this stage ( preferably before a child is aged five or earlier) that treatment should be undertaken. If it is not undertaken before the age of eight, the weaker eye may become permanently 'lazy'. This is because the brain cannot tolerate the different images it is receiving and so supresses the weaker image.
The weak eye becomes 'amblyopic' as a result.
The patient should see an orthoptist and an ophthalmologist for a diagnosis ( there are many types of squint) and a course of treatment.
Surgery can correct the problem if the patient is young enough for the brain to adapt. In adults, surgery will improve appearance but not function. orthoptists specialise in the non surgical treatment of strabismus and can recommend exercises where appropriate.