ZocdocAnswersDoes strabismus cause one to squint?

Question

Does strabismus cause one to squint?

I'm 29 with strabismus. I've been squinting a lot more recently. Is this because of the strabismus?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have strabismus, and have been dealing with it for so long. I am happy to give you some general information about strabismus, and what some of its effects can be. However, you should absolutely see an ophthalmologist after a detailed history and exam. Strabismus is a term that is used to describe a condition where the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, and is mot commonly the result of an in-coordination between the extra-ocular muscles for some reason. This is typically due to dysfunction in cranial nerve 3 (occulomotor nerve), 4 (trochlear nerve), or 6 (abducens nerve). With a dysfunctional extraocular muscle, the normally functioning binocular vision (which provides accurate depth perception) is disrupted. If the affected eye points "in" when looking forward, it is called esotropia. If the affected eye points "out" when looking straight forward, it is called exotropia. When the gaze is "up" when looking forward it is hypertropia, and when it is "down" it is hypotropia. Typically this problem is addressed early in life so that the non-dominant eye is able to be corrected, and theoretically neural pathways are able to develop "normally". There are some that theorize that if left long enough the neural information from the non-dominant/affected eye will over time be ignored by the brain. Some people have been found to "squint" their non-dominant eye to prevent diplopia or double vision. I'm not sure if this is the case with you, but I would definitely recommend a consultation with an ophthalmologist. I hope this is helpful.

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