sunshine coast eye doctor services
sunshine coast eye doctor services

Strabismus (squint or “turned eye”)

Strabismus (pronounced “struh-BIZ-mus”) is the medical term for eyes pointing in different directions.

One eye may turn…

  • inwards (esotropia or cross eyes – see figure 1)
  • outwards (exotropia or wall eyes – see figure 2)
  • upwards (hypertropia -see figure 3) or downwards (hypotropia)

…while the other eye looks forward.

The common name for this condition is a squint (as opposed to squinting which is when people partially close their eyes in bright sunlight).

Click to Enlarge Strabismus Diagram

eye specialist diagram strabismus

Strabismus Surgery

Squint surgery is a common eye operation which usually involves tightening or moving one or more of the outer eye muscles.  These muscles are attached close to the front of the eye under a thin, translucent surface layer called the conjunctiva. The eye is not taken out of the socket during surgery. Tiny stitches (sutures) are used to attach the muscles in their new positions.

Squint surgery is usually a day procedure (in and out of hospital the same day) done under general anaesthesia.

There are two main kinds of squint operation: adjustable and non-adjustable.

In adjustable surgery, performed on older children and adults, the sutures can be adjusted while awake, shortly after the surgery.

eye specialist diagram strabismus surgery


SURGERY TIME: 30-90 mins

HOSPITAL STAY: Day Hospital Procedure

NO DRIVING: 1 week (Driver Required)

FULL RECOVERY: 6 -12 weeks


WORK: 1-2 weeks

EXERCISE: No Vigorous exercise eg. gym for 2 weeks

SWIM: No Swimming/Surfing for 1 month

WASHING: as usual, with extra care (avoid soap in eyes)