A squint, or strabismus, occurs when the two eyes are not looking in the same direction (‘crossed eyes’). It may be apparent all the time or only when the person is tired or focusing on a near or distant object. The eye may turn in or out, or one eye may sit higher than the other. The condition may affect children and adults. Squint management may involve prescribing glasses if there is a focusing error, particularly with long-sightedness. Surgery may be required to move the eye muscles and thereby straighten the eye. In children, surgery is usually performed between the ages of six months and four years, and in adults it may be performed at any time once the squint has stabilised. Surgery usually happens as a day-stay procedure under general anaesthetic.
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