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What is Squint?

Strabismus, also known as squint, is a condition where both your eyes do not look together in the same direction. So if one of your eyes looks straight ahead, the other turns to point inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards. The turning of the eye may remain constant or it may come and go. Most squints are seen in young children; about one in twenty, to be precise. Sometimes squints can develop in older kids or even in adults. Strabismus is also known by many other names like crossed eyes, wandering eyes, cock eye, wall eyed and deviating eye.

When your eye turns inwards (towards the nose), it is called Esotropia. If your eye turns outwards (away from the nose), it is known as Exotropia. When one of your eyes turn upwards or downwards, its is called Hypertropia.

Symptoms of Squint

Here are some of the many symptoms of squint eye:

  • One of the main strabismus symptoms is an eye that is not straight.

  • When this misalignment is large and obvious, your brain makes practically no efforts to straighten the eye, and it does not cause too many symptoms.

  • When the misalignment is less or if it is not constant, headaches and eyestrain are experienced.

  • There may also be fatigue when reading, jittery or unstable vision and an inability to read comfortably.

  • Sometimes, your child may squint one eye when out in bright sunlight or tilt his head to use both his eyes together.

  • It can also lead to loss of vision in the misaligned eye, a condition called as amblyopia.

  • Newborn babies often have an intermittent squint, but this reduces by 2 months of age and disappears by four months of age as the baby’s vision development occurs. However, most children never outgrow true strabismus.

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Causes of Squint

What are the reasons for squint eye? Let’s find out:

Six muscles around your eye are responsible for coordinating the movements of your eye. These are called extraocular muscles in order that both your eyes to be lined up and focused on a single target, all the muscles in both the eyes have to work together. In a person with normal vision, both eyes aim at the same object. This helps the brain to combine the two pictures received from the two eyes into a single 3-D image. It is this 3-dimensional image that gives us a perception of depth.

When one eye goes out of alignment in strabismus, two different pictures are sent to your brain. In a child with crossed eyes, the brain ‘learns’ to ignore the image from the non-aligned eye. Because of this, the child loses perception of depth. In adults who develop a squint, their brain has already learnt to receive two images and cannot ignore the image from the misaligned eye. Because of this, the adult develops double vision.

Strabismus develops when there is a problem that interferes with the controlling and functioning of the extraocular muscles. This problem may have to do with the muscles themselves or the nerves or regions of the brain that control the extraocular muscles.

Disorders that affect the brain may cause a squint, e.g. Cerebral Palsy (a disorder in which there is impaired muscle coordination), Down’s Syndrome (a genetic condition affecting physical and mental development), Brain tumors, Hydrocephalus (Collection of fluid in the brain), etc.

A cataract, diabetes, eye injury or tumor in the eye can also lead to vision problems while being one of the primary squint eye causes.

Damage to the retina in premature babies or an hemangioma (abnormal build-up of blood vessels) near the eye during infancy may also be a cause.

Your genes may also play a role in your developing a squint.

Sometimes, when a child with uncorrected farsightedness tries to focus, they can develop something called accommodative esotropia. This happens because of the excessive focusing effort.

Types of Squint

What is Convergent Squint? Squint (Strabismus) is misalignment of eyes, where both the eyes do...


What is Paralytic squint? Inability of the eye muscles to move the eye due to...


Squint Prevention

Early detection is very important. All children should get their vision checked between the ages of 3 months to 3. Years. If you have a family history of strabismus or amblyopia, you should get your child’s eyesight checked even before the age of 3 months.

What are the Available Tests for Squint?

Apart from the standard ophthalmic examination, there are multiple tests for squint eye like:

  • A retinal examination is one of the most common tests for squint.

  • Visual Acuity testing

  • Corneal light reflex

  • Cover/ Uncover Test

  • Brain and Nervous System testing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cost of squint surgery?

It is a smart decision to invest in a good health insurance plan to ensure that you and your family members are covered in case a medical crisis occurs in the future. Before we come to strabismus surgery cost, it is important to remember that the success rate of squint eye surgery is usually high; thus, the cost of the treatment proves to be a one-time investment.

If you are going for a squint eye treatment/surgery, take a bracket of around INR 7000 to INR 1,00,000. However, this can change with the offered medical facilities and infrastructure.

Amblyopia, also known as adult lazy eye, refers to the medical condition where there is reduced vision in one eye caused by abnormal or irregular sight development in early life stages. The lazy or comparatively weaker eye often wanders outwards or inwards. Usually, the adult lazy eye develops from birth and goes up to the age of 7.

Even though it rarely affects both eyes together, it is one of the primary causes of decreased vision/eyesight among children. Below we have mentioned some of the many symptoms of adult lazy eye:

  • Head tilting or squinting
  • Shutting one eye
  • Bad depth perception
  • Abnormal or strange results of eyesight screening test
  • An eye that wanders outward or inwards.

Some of the many risk factors of adult lazy eye include development disabilities, family history of lazy eye, premature birth, and more. On the other hand, if this eye condition is not treated in time, it can lead to permanent vision loss.

The patient will undergo a comprehensive eye and physical examination before the eye muscle repair surgery. In addition, the doctor will take some eye measurements to determine which muscles are stronger or weaker than they should be.


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