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Strabismus is derived from a Greek word, which means “eyes looking obliquely.” Strabismus means misaligned eyes. Often strabismic eyes are referred to as “squinting eyes,” “crossed eyes,” and “wall eyes.” Usually, both eyes fixate equally while focusing on an object with the head held in the primary position. In strabismus or squint, one or both eyes deviate inwards or outwards and appear to be in non-alignment towards the direction of the focused object. It can be due to refractive error or binocular fusion abnormalities or neuromuscular anomalies of ocular movements. If diagnosed and treated early, strabismus has a very good prognosis. Treatment is usually by refractive error correction, orthoptic exercises, occlusive patching, topical medications, and extraocular muscle surgery.


Eyes that don't look in the same direction at the same time. (If your child's eyes are only slightly misaligned, you may not notice.)

Eyes that don't move together.

Squinting or closing one eye in bright sunlight.

Tilting or turning the head to look at an object.

Bumping into things.


Most strabismus results from an abnormality of the neuromuscular control of eye movement. Our understanding of these control centers in the brain is still evolving. Less commonly, there is a problem with the actual eye muscle. Strabismus is often inherited, with about 30 percent of children with strabismus having a family member with a similar problem.

Other conditions associated with strabismus include:

Uncorrected refractive errors

Poor vision in one eye

Cerebral palsy

Down syndrome (20-60% of these patients are affected)

Hydrocephalus (a congenital disease that results in a buildup of fluid in the brain)

Brain tumors

Stroke (the leading cause of strabismus in adults)

Head injuries, which can damage the area of the brain responsible for control of eye movement, the nerves that control eye movement, and the eye muscles

Neurological (nervous system) problems

Graves' disease (overproduction of thyroid hormone)

Risk factors

You’re more likely to develop crossed eyes if you:

have family members who have crossed eyes

have a brain disorder or brain tumor

have had a stroke or brain injury

have a lazy eye, are farsighted, or have vision loss

have a damaged retina

have diabetes

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Lazy eye (amblyopia) or permanent poor vision in the turned eye. ...

Blurry vision, which can affect performance in school and at work, and enjoyment of hobbies and leisure activities.

Eye strain.



Double vision.

Poor 3-dimensional (3-D) vision.


Strabismus cannot be prevented. Complications can be prevented if detected early enough. At the minimum children should be screened for eye health before 6 months of age and again between 3-5 years.