Teased by peers and having difficulties in concentrating, nine-year-old offered squint eye treatment by SMCV

Arif Zikri
·3-min read
Sunway Medical Centre Velocity's (SMCV) Dr Fiona Chew performing the orthoptics assessment to check the squint angle on Mia Syuhada Sabdani. — Photo by Jasmin Zainal
Sunway Medical Centre Velocity's (SMCV) Dr Fiona Chew performing the orthoptics assessment to check the squint angle on Mia Syuhada Sabdani. — Photo by Jasmin Zainal

KUALA LUMPUR, January 22 — Nine-year-old Mia Syuhada Sabdani was diagnosed with a squint eye condition that affected her vision when she was just six.

Her condition has impacted her life, especially when it comes to her studies.

Sunway Medical Centre Velocity (SMCV) through its corporate social responsibility project ‘A Little Wish, For Your Little One’ decided to help Mia after her mother, Ramadiah Abd Rahman shared her story.

According to Ramadiah, she and her family are struggling financially and mentally and they have been waiting for an opportunity for Mia to undergo treatment for two years now as she has been facing difficulties in school.

“We noticed the squint in Mia when she was about six years old and began going to school. Unfortunately, she was teased by her peers in school, found it difficult to concentrate and thus could not pick up on her lessons in the classroom.”

“When she got a little older, we realised we needed to correct this issue,” Ramadiah said.

Mia’s eyes before (left) and after (right) the squint surgery. — Photo by Jasmin Zainal
Mia’s eyes before (left) and after (right) the squint surgery. — Photo by Jasmin Zainal

Mia underwent her squint surgery in December last year courtesy of SMCV.

“After the surgery, there was a marked improvement in Mia.

“Her eyesight has improved — she is now able to focus on learning, reading and writing, and she no longer receives remarks from her schoolmates which in turn has helped improve her self-esteem.”

“We are very satisfied with the results of the surgery,” Ramadiah said.

According to SMCV Consultant and Paediatric Ophthalmologist, Dr Fiona Chew Lee Min, strabismus or squint can occur at any age although it is more commonly found in children.

There are various factors that could contribute to squint such as stroke or external impact from accidents but the most common one is the inability of the eye muscles to pull the eyeball equally, causing them to be too tight or too loose.

This then leads to the eye being pulled in one direction or the other, thus creating a misalignment.

There are various types of squint and Mia was diagnosed with Exotropia which causes the eye to turn outwards.

Other types of squint also include Esotropia which causes the eye to turn inwards, Hypertropia which causes the eye to turn upwards while Hypotropia causes the eye to turn downwards and rotational squints which causes the eye to rotate.

Chew explained that children with squint would usually have reduced to even no three-dimensional vision at all which makes them unable to judge distances.

(from left) Mia's mother, Ramadiah Abd Rahman, Mia and Dr Fiona after a successful surgery leading to Mia’s improved eyesight. — Photo by Jasmin Zainal
(from left) Mia's mother, Ramadiah Abd Rahman, Mia and Dr Fiona after a successful surgery leading to Mia’s improved eyesight. — Photo by Jasmin Zainal

They would also experience reduced visual field and may experience delayed developmental milestones.

“They are more likely to trip over things, face difficulty going downstairs, have problems crossing the road and also have problems studying due to reduced vision and poor concentration.

“Also, because their outward appearance is abnormal, these children may also develop depression, reduced self-esteem as well as being anti-social.

“Later in life, this will also affect their career prospects,” she said.

Chew said that if treated properly, the patient will have improved three-dimensional vision, enhanced concentration and better vision which could also lead to better career prospects as they looked like normal individuals.

She said that surgery is one of the many ways of treatment for patients with squint, noting that there are various lifestyle modifications that can be carried out to treat it as well.

The ways also include reducing time on electronic gadgets, spending more time outdoors, wearing special spectacles or carrying out regular special exercise which in turn can improvise squint control.

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