What is Strabismus?

Strabismus is the condition where the eyes are not properly aligned. Other common names include ‘lazy’, ‘crossed’ or ‘turned’ eyes, and ‘squint’.

One or both eyes may turn either inward (esotropia), outward (exotropia), upward (hypertropia) or downward (hypotropia).

Strabismus may be constant or intermittent and might always affect the same eye (unilateral), or both eyes may take turns in being misaligned (alternating).

Strabismus is the most common eye disorder in children. It’s estimated that between three and five per cent of Australians are affected by the condition.


What causes strabismus?

Strabismus can be caused by abnormalities in the eye muscles, in the nerves controlling these muscles, in vision centres in the brain that control binocular vision, or due to poor vision in one or both eyes.

Genetics may also play a part – children of a parent or parents with strabismus have a greater risk of developing strabismus.

You may be born with strabismus or develop it during infancy or childhood, or later in life. Sometimes strabismus can point to a more serious eye disease or another health problem.

Other risk factors for the condition may include:

  • Eye/orbit injury
  • Head trauma
  • Premature birth or low birth weight
  • Uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia)
  • Muscular abnormalities
  • Neurological abnormalities
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome

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Need to know more?

Our ophthalmologists here at the Lions Eye Institute can help you with advice on Strabismus at your consultation. You’ll need a current referral from either a GP or an optometrist to schedule an appointment.

You can request an appointment below.

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