Strabismus Crossed-Eyes

Squint is a condition in which the eyes are not properly aligned with each other. For some reason, one or both eyes turn in , out, up or down.


Coordination of the eyes and their ability to work together in a synchronized way is a learned trait that develops within a child's first six years. Failure of the eyes to adjust properly can lead to crossed-eyes. It can also be due to heredity.

Children under six are the ones who are most affected by squint. Although rare, squint occurs in adults as a result of stroke, tumor or other disease.

This a common misconception. A child will not outgrow crossed eyes. In fact, the condition may only get worse without treatment. So early detection is very important to restore good vision.

Children with crossed–eyes may initially have double vision. This occurs because both eyes are not focused on the same object. In an attempt to avoid double vision, the brain will eventually disregard the image from the unfavoured eye. With time, the ignored eye will become incapable of functioning normally and will become lazy due to disuse.

Treatment for crossed-eyes include eye glasses, prisms, vision therapy and surgery. Crossed eyes can be corrected with excellent results if detected and treated early. A child, if too young, will not be able to express symptoms that he experiences, but indicates it through his actions which can make an intelligent and observant parent aware of and suspect some discomfort in the child that should receive the attention of an optometrist.

The child should be taken to an optometrist for an examination if any of the following is noticed by the parent:

  • Sitting very close to the TV set while watching
  • Holding books too close to the eyes.
  • Tilting the head / turning the face / elevating or depressing the chin while viewing objects.
  • Squinting the lids, while viewing objects at a distance.
  • Squinting 'in' or 'out' of the eyes constantly / intermittently.
  • Resists closure of one eye.
  • Constant rubbing of the eyes.
  • Eyes turning red or discolored.
  • Difficulty in keeping the eyes open in bright light.