Patient Information

Eye leaflets

Orthoptic Department
Colchester Primary Care Centre
Colchester CO4 5JR
Tel: 01206 487 100


All About Squint


What is a squint?

A squint is a misalignment of the eyes (strabismus) where one eye either turns inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards. A squint and lazy vision can be present at the same time.

What causes a squint?

There are several causes of a squint:

  • Congenital squint – this is when a baby is born with a squint. There is likely to be a family history of squint or the need for glasses.
  • Longsight – if a child is longsighted they tend to over focus their eyes to see clearly. This can result in an in turning or convergent squint. Prescribing glasses may correct the squint fully or partially.
  • Predisposing illness – a squint can happen after a child is ill. This usually means the tendency to squint has always been present but the illness has caused a loss of control.
  • Nerve damage – birth trauma or illness causing nerve damage can also result in a squint.
  • Other associated problems – for example, systemic disease or syndromes.

Can you grow out of a squint?

No, but some babies present with the illusion of a squint due to a broad nasal bridge. As they grow the appearance of squint reduces. A true squint cannot be outgrown.

What can be done to treat a squint?

Treatment varies according to the type of squint being treated.

The main treatments for squint

  • Glasses – worn all the time to correct any sight problems.
  • Surgery – either to improve the cosmetic appearance of a squint or to realign the eyes to allow them to work together. Most surgery on children is cosmetic only.

Additional information

For more information, see the NHS Lazy Eye webpage (Opens in a new window)



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