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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 5 March 2021

Father tells of joy as surgeon corrects rare eye defect in both sons

Dr Qasem Al Hammouri said a ‘vertical squint’ should be treated without delay

The father of two young boys spoke of his joy after a surgeon in Sharjah corrected their rare eye condition.

Ahmad Albakar said his sons, Youssef, 4, and Adam, 7, suffered from a vertical squint, a genetic disorder that prevents people aligning their eyes.

The older child was operated on in 2019 and the younger one in September this year. Both now have near-perfect vision.

“I wasn’t scared but my eye hurt and I looked like a pirate after the surgery because they covered my eye with a patch,” Youssef told The National.

“But it doesn’t hurt now.”

Mr Albakar said: “Squints tend to run in the family because his older brother was born with the same condition.”

Adam became insecure when he was bullied by other children, his family said.

“One day, a girl at Adam’s school made a remark about his eyes looking different and he came home and asked his mother why she would say such a thing,” Mr Albakar said.

Before Youssef was born, his parents spent nearly five years visiting hospitals in Jordan and the UAE to have Adam treated.

“We would be given a six-month treatment plan that included using eye drops and covering the good eye with a patch for two hours a day to strengthen the bad one,” Mr Albakar said.

But it was difficult to follow one treatment plan as it was not easy to find the same doctor when they went back for a follow-up.

“It was frustrating because no doctor we saw wanted to continue with the treatment plan that was started by another doctor,” he said.

Last year, the family went to see Dr Qasem Al Hammouri, consultant paediatric ophthalmologist at University Hospital Sharjah.

Dr Al Hammouri, who treated the boys, said the type of squint they have is a difficult condition to diagnose and requires immediate treatment.

“A vertical squint can obstruct the vision and affect the patient’s psychological health,” he said.

Updated: November 1, 2020 03:49 PM


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