Medical Q&As

Strabismus - what is it?

My son has been diagnosed with strabismus. What is it and where can I find further information on this?

Strabismus is the medical term for squint. It means that the eyes are deviated so that their axes are no longer parallel. Deviations may be in any direction but are most commonly horizontal. The eyes are kept parallel by a complicated conditioned reflex that is acquired in the early years of life. If the conditioning process is interrupted for any reason this can result in strabismus. The commonest cause of such difficulty is hypermetropia or long-sightedness. Early diagnosis of strabismus is the key to effective management. Most cases can be treated with glasses if the condition is diagnosed in early childhood whereas more complicated management may be required in the case of late diagnosis. You can find further information on this condition in our special feature which you can access through the following link: