Squint Treatment for Babies – Is it possible without Surgery?

“Doctor, I don’t think it will work,” said Jiya’s father. “Glasses as squint treatment for our four month old baby? Isn’t she too young for spectacles? She is too frisky, she just won’t keep them on Doctor!”

4 month old Baby Jiya* was a little bundle of energy and the apple of her family’s eye. That is why her parents had rushed in to their child eye doctor as soon as they noticed a squint. People told Jiya’s parents that she would soon outgrow it, but they decided that it would be best if the doctor told them that.

Jiya’s Diagnosis:

Their child eye doctor, Dr. Prachi Agashe examined Jiya’s eyes. She explained to Jiya’s parents that Jiya had farsightedness or plus numbers. This meant that for Jiya, objects that were near her like the toys on her crib and her mother’s face appeared blurry. Many young kids have farsightedness, but what Jiya had, was more than normal. In order to try and overcome this haziness, her eyes had to work harder to focus and see clearly. This excess effort was causing her eyes to turn inwards or appear squinted. Dr. Prachi Agashe explained that this is called Refractive Accommodative Esotropia.

Jiya’s Vision Saved in Time:

“You made a good decision to get Jiya’s eyes checked”, Dr. Agashe told Jiya’s parents. “It’s true that squint may be normal in babies until they are three months old. But any squint that persists after that age, needs to be looked into. If you would have delayed squint treatment, Jiya’s vision may not have developed normally. If her eye wasn’t used properly for a long time, Jiya may have had reduced vision permanently in that eye. She may never have developed fine depth perception either.”

Jiya and Glasses?

Jiya was advised to wear spectacles so that the extra effort her eyes were making to focus would get reduced. This would help make sure that her vision would develop normally. Once the glasses eased the effort, the squint would also go away. “So no eye surgery is needed  for her squint treatment as of now?” asked Jiya’s father with a sigh of relief. That relief was short lived when Jiya’s mother pointed out that Jiya wouldn’t keep her glasses on. That’s when the second wave of anxiety swept over them. “It just won’t work doctor!”

Before and After Squint Treatment with Glasses

Jiya will do it!

Dr. Prachi smiled and patiently gave them a few tips on how they could get their baby to wear glasses. She told them that they could distract her with her favourite toy while they slip on the glasses. They just needed to be calm and consistent till Jiya started associating her glasses with clear vision. Then she wouldn’t really mind them! Jiya’s parents skeptically agreed to give it a try. But it seemed as if Dr. Prachi had more confidence in their daughter taking to glasses than them!

Jiya’s Squint Treatment a Success:

Two months later, on their fourth follow up, Dr. Prachi Agashe their squint specialist told Jiya’s parents that Jiya’s vision was quite normal now. She would still need to wear her glasses, but the squint and the danger of losing vision permanently in one eye were not a major worry now. Her squint treatment had been a success!

Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Squint Specialist, Dr. Prachi Agashe has a vast experience in treating squint in kids like Jiya. If you too have concerns about your baby’s squint, do not delay getting your baby’s eyes checked. You may get in touch with Dr. Agashe at Agashe’s Paediatric SuperSpeciality Care in Kurla or email her at contactus@agashehospital.com or give her a call at 022 42435000.

*Name changed to protect privacy.