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Scoping strabismus: stand-mounted synoptiscope
  1. Richard Keeler,
  2. Arun D Singh,
  3. Harminder Singh Dua

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Strabismus or squint has been a social stigma since time immemorial, its cosmetic effect being more a concern to those afflicted by it than any visual impairment caused. The history of the attempts at measuring the effect of strabismus on vision is linked to the invention of the ‘stereoscope’, an instrument used for viewing objects binocularly.

The first stereoscope was invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone, a British inventor, in 1835. Early stereoscopes used hand-drawn images as photography had not been invented yet. Shortly afterwards in 1843 Sir David Brewster produced his lenticular stereoscope. It was using this format that Emil Javal laid down the foundation of the method of treatment for squint in his famous book on strabismus.

In 1861 Oliver Wendell Holmes …

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