sports with a squint

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my son is 4 and the hospital told us he will never use his eyes together because of his squint. can anyone tell me how squints affect their ability to play fast moving sports such as football, squash etc.. We were thinking that if he only uses his eyes one at a time, then he wouldn't see someone approaching from the wrong side. PLus he wouldn't be able to judge when the ball was arriving.

We are realling at present because we have been under hospital care for all 4 years and only now are they telling us he won't use both eyes. the suggestion is even if he has an operation to correct the squint, it will only be cosmetic. sad

thanks for any help you can give


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  • Posted


    I have has surgery twice and neither one made my eyes straight.

    At 21 I have been and had botox in one eye to weaken the muscle and force the eye straight to work out the likleyhood of me getting double vision when I have the surgery.

    This is done by numbing the eyes while you're awake though for children they can put them to sleep but all it is is a needle into the muscle at the side of the eye.

    My eyes are straight and will be for the next 3 months until the botox wears off even though they are looking the same way one of the images is still being switched off (I can see it but it's being ignored by my brain)

    As with anything he will have to learn to play sports but I can honestly tell you from my experience that my eyes did not affect me playing sports or catching a ball, I would not say that the surgery will be purely cosmetic because when he is looking he will be using both eyes and that increases depth perception and he can train himself to use both eyes while he's young.

    He will most likely have to have a few surgeries to correct it because they have to be fine tuned, I would have it donw while he is young. It is much harder when you're older and you have the added problem of having low confidence and not looking at people when you talk to them which makes them think you're being rude.

    I would say get it done while he's young because anything is better than one eye wandering plus I have noticed that it is hard for me to concerntrate the older I get. Having them straight is brilliant and will definately help him to do most things better than if they weren't.

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  • Posted

    Hi Susie,

    I have just been reading up on Strabismus because I have never really bothered to learn more about it. I was born in '73 with squints in both eye's. I recall only one operation to cosmetically correct my sight and then I wore a patch and had therapy to retrain my brain to use both eye's at the same time. It was very frustrating as a child and I think in the end my parents also grew frustrated so we possibly did not spend enough time getting it right. I am now 34 and cosmetically one of my eye's will roll up a little only when I am tired.

    To answer your question, I still have amblyopia. That is because I did not stick with the therapy I can not see 3d movies, but I still have peripheral vision. My brain switches between signals from each eye which I am not aware of unless I concetrate I can feel for the muscles as I change between eyes. This makes it hard when I look at something like standing on the corner of a building. One minute I will see the face of the wall, the next I will be looking down the length of the wall without blinking or moving. In sports I found those that involved a small ball, such as squash, tennis etc. or even just catching a rubber or a set of keys, I would focus on the object before it was thrown, then whilst it is in the air, because I am focusing so hard I might change eye's and therefore I would miss the catch. Obviously not such a problem with say a basketball.

    Hope that helps. All the best to you and your son.. just stick with it and don't give up.

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  • Posted

    My son only ever used one of his eyes to see and he was, erm still is clumsy. I asked the hospital as he is now taking driving lessons but they said thoughout his life he might not have been able to tell the depth of things but that he would he picked up other clues to judge distances. Afterall people who only have one eye can drive.
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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I was born with a severe squint and was operated on at the age of 6. Its better to do the op when you are younger, 1. because its less traumatic! Id hate to have to do it now and 2. because the brain can learn to adjust quicker.

    Its not just cosmetic, the squint I was told could worsen if not treated. I was so glad my parents made the decision to do it as my eyes I am told now are one of my best features!! But each case is different, always go with what your doc recommends.

    When the doc says he only sees out of one eye, this is true but you do see out the other eye too as like a back-up. (for me anyway). I dont have double vision. My eyes work independentely thats all (before and after op) this will never change!! I can only describe the affect as looking out of my right eye at all times, with the left eye just showing views to my left like a back-up (it doesnt clash with my right eye view, just shuts it out I guess) but to actually look out of my left eye I have to close my right and the perception changes. I can control this if I want but when I relax my sight it is always from the viewpoint of the right eye. This is my brain controlling the effect of double vision, the brain will always avoid double vision as best as it can by ignoring the view point of the affected eye. This means however that I cant use 3D glasses! as I will only ever see one colour or the other, depending which view point I am using.

    But Id like to make it clear that this has never affected me playing any types of sports, catching balls or driving a car. My depth perception is perfect and I am not at all clumsy. The younger you are the better your brain copes with dealing with sight.

    I only wear glasses/contacts for driving, legal requirements because I have a slight short sightedness. My eyes are as near as perfectly straight too and I have only ever had one operation back in 1986 so far. I have been told just today that I do still have a slight squint again but am advised not to have another operation because it could actually make my eyesight worse. The op will never get it 100% perfect as this is impossible so if the eyes look ok and the sight is ok then usuall you dont need an op.

    I hope this helps you in some way.

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  • Posted

    Identicle to laura, its only the 3d films that i miss out on :-(
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  • Posted

    Some people's kids are completely blind or dying of a brain tumour.

    Your child has a squint and you are reeling from that?

    You really would benefit in yourself from getting some perspective.

    I am half blind and have a squint and other than it rarely being a minor annoyance - it does not stop me from doing anything. There are people lame from the waste down playing the sports that you have mentioned.

    Hope I don't sound harsh and obviously we all want perfectly bioengineered children with not a single 'defect' - but count yourself lucky that your 'burden' is something as meaningless as a only a squint!

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  • Posted

    I just wanted to reply quickly to let you know not to worry. I have had squint all my life, four ops through out and whilst they are straighter cosmetically (Last two ops were purely cosmetic) I will never use both eyes together, and one is significantly weaker. But this hasnt affected anything in my life aside from seeing 3D movies!!!! Not a great hardship! I am an artist and my fine eye skills are as good as anyone elses, I just have to contend with seeing double, and before I can even remember, my brain ignored the second \"weaker\" image.

    Your son will be fine, the only recommendation I will give is that to have it straighter looking cosmetically is worth it, its quite a hard thing to have eyes that dont look directly at people, especially as you get older. I found it embarrassing at times when in a professional business situation, that people didnt realise I was talking to them, and it did make me feel self conscious, which is why I had them straightened. And I would have it done again in a heartbeat as the results gave me much more self confidence.

    Good luck with it all! :-)

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