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Patients' Experiences

What are the psychological and physical affects of having a squint and how do they impact on peoples lives?

Video Transcript:

For many patients with strabismus their squint has a significant effect on their psychological well-being. There have been many scientific studies which have shown that patients with strabismus can be discriminated against during recruitment interviews, over looked for promotion and are less likely to find a partner. In some people the loss of confidence and self-esteem can be very debilitating and this is especially true if their job involves regular face to face encounters with different people e.g. teaching.

These are examples of the sort of concerns patients with strabismus have:

  • - I worry about what people will think about my eyes
  • - I feel that people are thinking about my eyes even when they don’t say anything
  • - I feel uncomfortable when people are looking at me because of my eyes
  • - I wonder what people are thinking when they are looking at me because of my eyes
  • - People don’t give me opportunities because of my eyes
  • - I am self conscious about my eyes
  • - People avoid looking at me because of my eyes
  • - I feel inferior to others because of my eyes
  • - People react differently to me because of my eyes
  • - I find it hard to initiate contact with people I don’t know because of my eyes

If you have any thoughts like these as a result of your squint, you should arrange to see an ophthalmologist. It is a common misconception that surgery can only be carried out during childhood or that once you have had one squint operation you cannot have another.

In the vast majority of patients squint surgery or botulinum toxin treatment can be performed to straighten your eyes and this can dramatically improve your confidence and self esteem.

The other reason why squints in adult life cause problems is because they disrupt binocular vision. These squints are often less visibly obvious and often go undiagnosed. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, a consultation with an ophthalmologist is recommended:

  • - I cover or close one eye to see things better
  • - I avoid reading because of my eyes
  • - I stop doing things because my eyes make it difficult to concentrate
  • - I have problems with depth perception
  • - My eyes feel strained
  • - I have problems reading because of my eye condition
  • - I feel stressed because of my eyes
  • - I worry about my eyes
  • - I can’t enjoy my hobbies because of my eyes
  • - I need to take frequent breaks when reading because of my eyes