Squints Eye 101: Meaning, Causes, Treatment & Surgery [2023 Guide]

by Florian Wüest • Updated 21 Jan, 2023
crossed eyes title image

Squint (also known as strabismus) is a common problem. According to a recent study, the lifetime chance of suffering from strabismus is 2.9%. [1]

I am one of the unlucky few:

infant with crossed eyes

I was born with a squint. And like so many other people with squint (or more commonly known as strabismus) - I tried everything to fix it.

In this article you'll learn everything you need to know about strabismus: What it is - what caused it - and how best to treat it (quickly and sustainably).

Let's dive right in:

1.Squint Eyes 101 - What Is It? And What Caused It?

strabismus the basics title image

Squint is a decently common phenomena...

... celebrities such as Jason Momoa, Elon Musk and Ed Sheeran got it after all...

... the causes and it's actual symptoms are still not widely known.

In this section you'll learn all the details about squint and strabismus - so you'll be properly informed about the condition at hand:

1.1 What is a squint (strabismus)?

The medical word for cross eyes is strabismus.

A person with strabismus has misaligned eyes. Meaning: Both eyes are not pointing in the same direction (either due to muscular issues, or brain issues - or both in summation). [2]

In this article, I'll be using 'strabismus' and 'squint' simultaneously. With some 'lazy eye' sprinkled in on top.

1.2 Why do I squint?

Again, a person with a squint has strabismus. Squint develops at birth (the child is born too early - as in my case)...

... or it is developed later in life.

The most common cause of a lazy eye is the child being born too early [3] - and due to that, the brain has not learned to use both eyes together properly.

The same mechanism is likely to be at work as an adult. A slight eye deviation happens, which makes the central nervous system unable to process the two images of both eyes...

... leading to a negative spiral until ultimately, one eye is completely dominant.

1.3 What are the different types of squints?

There are several types of squints, also known as strabismus, including:

Additionally, squints can be classified as either constant or intermittent, and as either accommodative or non-accommodative.

    2. Squint Eyes: The Problem (Not Only Cosmetic!)

    how to fix crossed eyes title image

    While the most common motivation for adults to seek treatment is psycho-social (meaning: the affect the condition has on their social life) [4] - strabismus is not only a cosmetic problem.

    2.1 Can squint lead to amblyopia (lazy eye)?

    Strabismus (squint) can lead to amblyopia - which means that crossed eyes can lead to permanent poor vision in the weaker eye.

    The severe amblyopia (significant loss of visual acuity) is the worst thing that can happen when you have strabismus. [5]

    2.2 Does having a squint affect depth perception (binocular vision)?

    Yes. Another common symptom of crossed eyes is poor depth perception: Which makes it impossible to watch 3d movies. Or makes every day tasks that depend on depth perception, such as parking, more difficult.

    This does not mean that people with poor depth perception see the world in 2d. They see it in 3d as well!

    Just the visceral sensation of 3d (where the eyes focus and then things 'pop out') is not as clear.

    2.3 Is double vision the most common symptoms of squint?

    Double vision (diplopia) is a common symptom of strabismus,. However, it is not necessarily the most common symptom of strabismus.

    Additionally, double vision can be caused by other conditions, such as neurological disorders or problems with the eye muscles or nerves. Therefore, it is important to consult an eye doctor if you are experiencing double vision or other vision problems. In a complete eye examination, your eye doctor can help you further.

    3. Treatment Options For Squints Eye

    how to fix crossed eyes title image

    Fortunately, there are several ways to treat squint, including corrective glasses or contact lenses, eye muscle exercises, and surgery.

    The most appropriate treatment will depend on the specific cause and severity of the condition, as well as the age of the patient.

    In this section, we will explore the different options for treating crossed eyes and the potential benefits and risks associated with each method. So if you are to seek treatment, you can make an educated decision going forward:.

    3.1 Can you fix squint?

    In short: Yes. Strabismus is a completely treatable condition. [6]

    The earlier it gets diagnosed and treated, the better. Yet even adult strabismus, with the right surgeon, have reported wonderful success rates. [7]

    3.2 What are the treatments for squint?

    The only way to fix eye misalignment - is where it originated. We have to train – or force via operative means - both our eyes in the same direction.

    Squint (strabismus) can be treated or strongly improved without a surgical procedure. Yet surgery is the most common procedure recommended for strabismus.

    However even though it's high recommended by doctors, only 1 out of 20 people that suffer from strabismus opt for surgery. But why? [10]

    3.3 What does the operation involve? My experience:

    I've had eye muscle surgery on my affected eye in 2019:

    Although the eye muscle surgery was done incredibly well by the surgeon, the end results were quite disappointing: The eyes slipped back in their previous position 3-4 months later.

    3.4 How long is squint surgery?

    Strabismus surgery is an outpatient procedure.

    This means, that you do not need to stay at a hospital overnight. The surgeon will do the procedure, and afterwards, you can go home.The surgery is performed quickly. My procedure took about 30 minutes, as I had only one eye to operate on (yours may take a bit longer, up to 1.5 hours in total). [11]

    3.5 What happens after the operation?

    The procedure after the surgery, based on my experience, is straightforward:

    1. You wake up after general anesthesia in a hospital bed.
    2. You have a patch on your operated eye.
    3. The surgeon will come and ask about your well-being/pain sensation.
    4. You will get eye drops, and post-operation advice from the surgeon - and will be asked to go home.
    5. You will be invited to a follow up check 1-2 weeks later (where they check double vision, redness etc. in the operated eye)

    3.6 What does squint surgery cost?

    The surgery is rather expensive: I've personally paid $4,400 for the surgery in Switzerland. According to a popular medical website, the normal prices of eye surgery are between $5,000 to $10,000.

    After my failed surgery, I went onto the search for other treatment options to improve my outward turning adult strabismus:

    3.7 Will more than one surgery be required to correct squint eyes?

    Based on my experience, the answer to that is generally yes. Strabismus surgery has a documented re-operation rate of at least 10% one year after surgery. [12]

    Which does not factor in surgeries after one year, or dissatisfied patients that said 'no' to the possibility of re-operation.

    The reason for the high re-operation rate is two-fold:

    1. The procedure – from assessment to surgery – is complex. There are a many potential pitfalls during the process, with human error accounting for about 50% of all errors. [13] So if you decide to go for surgery, choose your surgeon well!
    2. The percentage of people that restore binocular vision (both eyes actually working together) after successful surgery is low. This is because the success rate of strabismus is based on an eye deviation of 10 prism diopters, while an eye deviation of 3 prism diopters is required to acquire true stereopsis. [14]

    3.8 Are there any alternative treatment options for squint?

    While eye surgery is a standard, and very effective way to treat strabismus - most patients (including me) were interested in alternatives.

    Because surgery is perceived to be risky, costly and quite painful. It's an effective treatment, but most people are looking for an easier treatment to start...

    ... before they ultimately hop for surgery.

    This is where our Lazyeyefix Ai software could come in handy. It's designed to help the 19 out of 20 people with strabismus that are not yet ready for surgery [15], yet still want to improve their condition.

    What Is Lazyeyefix Ai?

    It's more fun than eye exercises at home, less costly than vision therapy, more quantifiable than the Brock String, and less risky, costly and painful than strabismus surgery. In short:

    And yeah, we have a free trial where you can basically try it with no risk (no other vision therapy method has this).

    Feel free to click the link here to download your free trial for Windows:

    Or click here to download your free trial for Mac:


    [1] Prevalence of Strabismus and Its Impact on Vision-Related Quality of Life: Results from the German Population-Based Gutenberg Health Study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0161642020301913

    [2] Strabismus by Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15065-strabismus-crossed-eyes

    [3] Born Too Soon - By WHO: http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44864/9789241503433_eng.pdf?sequence=1

    [4] Adults with strabismus seek surgery for pyschosocial benefits: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211505613000793

    [5] The Amblyopia Treatment Studies: Implications for Clinical Practice: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5396957/

    [6] American Optometric Association:

    [7] Adults with strabismus seek surgery for pyschosocial benefits: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211505613000793

    [8] Surgery is a routine procedure:

    [9] What Is Prism Correction In Eye Glasses?

    [10] Strabismus, Strabismus Surgery, and Reoperation Rate in the United States: Analysis from the IRIS Registry:

    [11] Study: Outcome of strabismus surgery in congenital esotropia:

    [12] Strabismus, Strabismus Surgery, and Reoperation Rate in the United States: Analysis from the IRIS Registry:

    [13] Human error in strabismus surgery: quantification with a sensitivity analysis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18953557

    [14] Maximum Angle of Horizontal Strabismus Consistent With True Stereopsis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14970796/

    [15] Study: Strabismus, Strabismus Surgery, and Reoperation Rate in the United States: Analysis from the IRIS Registry:

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