General Health

Squint Eye: Meaning, Types, Causes, Treatment, and Surgery

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 16 June 2023, Updated on - 20 July 2023

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Strabismus, commonly known as squint eye, is a common eye condition that affects millions of children and adults worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, squint eye is not a permanent condition and can be corrected through various treatment methods. In order to understand more about squint eye, its types, causes, and available treatments, let's delve deeper into this condition.

What is Squint Eye?

Squint eye, also known as strabismus or crossed eyes, is a condition where the eyes do not align properly. Unlike normal eye movement where both eyes point in the same direction, individuals with squint eyes have one eye turned in a different direction than the other. This condition affects the control of eye movement, causing an abnormal alignment of the eyes. While more commonly observed in children, squint eyes can also develop later in life.

Squint Eye Signs

In cases of squint eye, the eyes may point inward or outward, leading to a misalignment or focusing in different directions. Along with these issues, individuals with squint eyes may also experience symptoms such as:

  • Impaired vision
  • Decreased depth perception
  • Double vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches

These symptoms can persist constantly or occur intermittently, particularly when one is fatigued or unwell.

Also Read: Do Your Eyes Feel Fatigued? Following These Tips Can Help!

Squint Eye Types

There are various types of squint eyes. The condition can be categorised based on the position of the eye or its cause.

The types of squint eyes based on the eye’s position include:

  • Hypertropia: The eye turns upwards
  • Hypotropia: The eye turns downwards
  • Esotropia: The eye turns inwards
  • Exotropia: The eye turns outwards

The types of squint eyes based on the cause include:

  • Accommodative esotropia: This type of squint eye often occurs when there is uncorrected farsightedness and a family history of eyes turning inward. The eyes may turn inward because of the extra focusing effort required to keep distant objects in clear focus, as the ability to focus is linked to the direction of the eyes
  • Intermittent exotropia: In this type of squint eye, one eye will focus on a target while the other eye points outward. Intermittent exotropia can occur at any age.

Squint Eye Causes 

Squint eye is most commonly caused due abnormal functioning of the eye’s neuromuscular control. Other possible causes of the condition include:

  • Poor vision in an eye
  • Uncorrected refractive errors
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hydrocephalus (causes fluid build up in the brain)
  • Down syndrome
  • Brain tumours
  • Head injuries
  • Stroke
  • Graves' disease (causes excessive production of thyroid hormones)
  • Problems affecting the nervous system

Squint Eye Treatment

Treatment options for strabismus or squint eye may include:

1. External treatment for squint eyes

Doctors use multiple external treatment options to rectify a squint eye. These include:

  • Contact lenses or eyeglasses: Corrective lenses can be prescribed to address any refractive errors, reducing the need for excessive focusing effort and helping the eyes to align properly.
  • Prism lenses: These specialised lenses can bend incoming light, minimising the degree of eye turn required to focus on objects, thereby improving alignment.
  • Patching: If amblyopia (lazy eye) coexists with squint eye, patching one eye may be recommended to stimulate vision improvement and enhance control of eye alignment.

2. Eye exercises for squint eyes

Certain types of strabismus, such as convergence insufficiency (a type of exotropia), may respond well to eye exercises designed to improve coordination and alignment. Some exercises that have been proven effective in treating squint eye include:

  • Pencil pushups
  • Brock string
  • Barrel cards
  • Colouring within the lines

3. Medications for squint eyes 

Different types of medications can be used to weaken overactive eye muscles, particularly in cases where surgery is not immediately necessary. These include:

  • Atropine eye drops
  • Atropine ointments
  • Injections of botulinum toxin type A 

4. Eye muscle surgery for squint eyes

Surgical intervention involves modifying the length or positioning of eye muscles to achieve proper alignment. This procedure is typically performed under general anaesthesia using dissolvable stitches. In some cases, adjustable strabismus surgery may be offered to adults, allowing for post-surgery fine-tuning of eye muscle positions.


Squint eye can often be corrected through various treatment options. It’s highly advisable to seek treatment immediately after experiencing symptoms to reduce the risk of vision loss and further complications. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for correcting the situation. You can consult our experts for further information.

Consult Apollo’s Expert Opthalmologists


Q. At what age is squint eye normal?

Strabismus can affect individuals of different age groups, including babies and older children. While babies may experience squints that come and go, they typically outgrow them by the age of 6 months. However, older children who develop squints do not naturally grow out of them. It is important for children above 3 months of age with squints to seek consultation from an eye specialist

Q. Can watching TV cause squint eye?

While sitting too close to a TV can cause eye strain, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it leads to long-term vision problems. However, it is possible that sitting at an improper viewing distance may result in increased squinting.

Q. How common is squint eye?

Strabismus is a common condition that affects approximately one in 20 children. Typically, squint eyes develop before the age of five, but it can also emerge later in life.

Q. Does eye surgery treat squint eye permanently?

Eye surgery is a commonly employed and effective method for treating squint eyes. However, it is important to note that the benefits of surgery in terms of eye alignment may not always be permanent. In some cases, the eyes may gradually drift again over time, necessitating additional surgeries. The long-term success of squint surgery can vary depending on various factors such as the individual's age, the severity of the squint, and underlying causes. 

Q. How can I fix squint eyes naturally?

Eye exercises are one of the best ways of treating squint eye naturally. These exercises can help with certain types of squint eyes by improving the coordination and alignment of your eyes.


Medically reviewed by Dr. Sonia Bhatt.


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