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What's the difference?

Byline: Miriam Stoppard

STRABISMUS This is the medical term for a squint, which is quite common in the eyes of newborn babies and normally disappears at around the age of six weeks.

If it doesn't and the eyes remain crossed, the usual cause is an imbalance of the eye muscles. Consult your doctor as soon as possible if the squint persists after three months. Your child may have to wear a patch or pad.

These work by forcing the weak muscle to get stronger, usually within four to five months.

ASTIGMATISM This is an uneven curvature of the transparent cornea, which covers the front of the eye causing distorted vision that blurs small print.

Most astigmatism is present from birth and can be corrected by glasses that have specially curved lenses to compensate for the unevenly shaped cornea. Rigid contact lenses can have the same effect.

As you get older and the shape of the eyeball changes, astigmatism can get worse.
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 19, 2013
Words:161
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