What Causes Squint Eyes?

Squint, also known as strabismus, occurs when the eyes are misaligned and do not move together in the same direction. The exact cause of squint eyes can be multifactorial and may vary from person to person. Some common factors that can contribute to the development of squint eyes include:

  • Muscle Imbalance: The most common cause of squint eyes is a muscular imbalance within the eye. Each eye is controlled by six extraocular muscles that work together to move the eye in different directions. When these muscles do not function harmoniously, one eye may turn inwards, outwards, upwards, or downwards, leading to a squint.
  • Refractive Errors: Uncorrected or improperly corrected refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), can cause squint eyes. The brain may attempt to align the eyes by turning one to focus properly, leading to a squint.
  • Amblyopia (Lazy Eye): Amblyopia is a condition in which one eye has significantly reduced visual acuity compared to the other. To compensate, the stronger eye may squint to reduce double vision.
  • Hereditary Factors: There is evidence to suggest that a family history of strabismus can increase the risk of developing squint eyes. Genetic factors may play a role in the condition.
  • Neurological Conditions: Some neurological conditions or brain disorders can affect the eye muscles or the brain’s control over eye movement, leading to squint.
  • Premature Birth: Babies born prematurely or with low birth weight may have an increased risk of developing squint due to underdeveloped eye muscles.
  • Injuries or Trauma: Head injuries or trauma to the eye region can damage the muscles that control eye movement, potentially causing a squint.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Some underlying medical conditions, such as retinoblastoma (a rare eye cancer), can manifest as a squint as one of their symptoms.
  • Eye Infections: Infections in or around the eye, especially in young children, can lead to squint eyes.

It’s important to diagnose and treat squint eyes, particularly in children, as early intervention can help prevent vision problems and improve eye alignment. Treatment options for squint eyes may include eyeglasses, eye patches, eye exercises, and, in some cases, surgery to correct the alignment of the eye muscles. If you or your child has a squint, it is advisable to consult with an eye specialist or an ophthalmologist for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.