Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital and Research Centre
Indira Gandhi Eye Hospital and Research Centre
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Squint or strabismus is a visual defect in which the eyes are misaligned and point in different directions. Strabismus can occur early in childhood or later in adulthood, although the causes of the eye misalignment are different. Strabismus can be the first sign of a serious vision problem.

Types of squint

The two most common types of strabismus are esotropia and exotropia.


Describes an inward turning eye and is the most common type of strabismus in infants. Young children with esotropia do not use their eyes together and the risk of amblyopia (lazy eye) or poor vision development is the major concern.









Another common type is an outward turning eye. This occurs most often when a child is focusing on distant objects. Typically, exotropia has less severe consequences upon visual development.


The primary sign of strabismus is an eye that is not directed straight. Sometimes a youngster will squint with one eye in bright sunlight. Symptoms of faulty depth perception may also be noticed. Adults who acquire strabismus will usually have double vision.


Treatment goals for strabismus are to preserve vision, to straighten the eyes, and to restore binocular vision. Depending on the cause of the strabismus, treatment may involve repositioning the unbalanced eye muscles, removing a cataract, or correcting other conditions which are causing the eyes to turn. Squint can be corrected with glasses, eye exercises and surgery. A majority of patients require an operation, which is very safe and can be done even in a child of six months age. If the surgery is required it should be done in most cases as soon as possible after the squint is noticed to avoid any irreversible damage to three-dimensional vision.