Can Laser Eye Surgery treat Strabismus and squints?

Laser Eye Surgery team member at London Vision Clinic

Traditionally, strabismus or squints cannot be treated with Laser Eye Surgery as squint surgery involves altering the muscles around the eye.

If you have strabismus, Laser Eye Surgery will not interact with the condition. It won’t make the squint worse, but it also will generally not make it any better.

Occasionally, if a patient has a squint and has Laser Eye Surgery, there may be a small residual refractive error left over after the procedure. This may alter the appearance of the squint but of course, this can be managed either with further enhancement Laser Eye Surgery or muscle surgery around the eye itself.

In some cases, Laser Eye Surgery can be used to help someone with both a squint and double vision. The double vision occurs because the eyes are not aligned properly and therefore the brain receives two different images from each eye, which it cannot effectively put together to make one single image.

Often in this situation, people may wear a patch over one eye to conceal the squint. Laser Eye Surgery can be used to treat people in this instance by focusing the dominant eye for distance and focusing the non-dominant eye for close up — effectively giving the patient ‘monovision’.

In monovision, the eye attuned to the close-up environment sees less well at distance, while the eye focused for distance sees less well at near. The result: the brain no longer receives two distinct images. The procedure works best for people who already have presbyopia, meaning they’re over 40 years of age.

How to find out if YOU are suitable for Laser Eye Surgery

In the short video below, Mr Carp explains how strabismus cannot be treated with Laser Eye Surgery, but requires specialist muscle surgery instead.

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You’ve heard it directly from the mouth of Mr Glenn Carp, one of the finest laser eye surgeons in the word. So it’s established: Laser Eye Surgery techniques alone will not resolve a strabismus problem. The primary and ultimate mission of refractive surgery is to change the refractive error of each eye individually, and therefore it cannot alter or improve a squint.

But as Laser Eye Surgery doesn’t interfere with strabismus, patients with the condition can choose from a range of procedure including LASIK, PRK/LASEK, and the more recent and incredibly efficient ReLEx SMILE surgery. However, there are several considerations that need to be evaluated before making the decision about having Laser Eye Surgery.

For instance, if amblyopia — also known as lazy eye — has developed due to strabismus, Laser Eye Surgery will not be able to restore vision beyond that which is attainable by wearing glasses.

Find out more about of the things you need to take into account before having Laser Eye Surgery by visiting the pages below:

If you’d like to speak with one of our friendly clinic co-ordinators, or book a consultation at London Vision Clinic, leave us a comment or contact our team.


Can Laser Eye Surgery treat Strabismus and squints? [VIDEO]

  1. sarkawt 09/10/2012 at 19:52

    If I have lazy eye, can i use laser surgery?

    • London Vision Clinic 19/10/2012 at 17:14

      Unfortunately, lazy eye cannot be corrected with laser eye surgery. However, we have treated many patients who have lazy eyes to eliminate their dependency on their glasses.

  2. Andrew Vrolijk 06/02/2014 at 15:10

    I’m 34 years old. with strabismus and wearing glasses. Which operation do you recommend first?
    Strabismus operation first or Lasik first?

    • London Vision Clinic 13/02/2014 at 10:52

      Hi Andrew. You should follow your doctor’s advice, as we cannot provide specific clinical advice without examining your eyes. However, in general we would recommend having the strabismus operation first. Strabismus is not a contraindication for laser eye surgery. Hope this is helpful, and if you would like any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 020 7224 1005.

  3. Nicola 10/03/2014 at 19:55


    I have a lazy eye that only affects me when I am not wearing glasses or contacts. Does that mean that if my vision were corrected with laser eye surgery my lazy eye would not wander when I have no glasses or contacts?

    • London Vision Clinic 12/03/2014 at 10:11

      Hi Nicola. The vision you can get with laser eye surgery is the same as with glasses and contact lenses; from what you have said, it sounds like your eye is able to focus with glasses – and therefore we would generally expect the same result after laser eye surgery (which makes the eye focus). However, this is not guaranteed. As with any patient, we would need to examine your eyes in person, and then would be able to give you a much more accurate answer as to what we could do for you, and what the likely outcome would be in your individual case. If you would like to schedule a free Initial Screening (with no obligation to book surgery), please give us a call on 020 7224 1005. Our Patient Care Coordinators may also be able to answer your questions more clearly over the phone, once you have given us some more details. We look forward to hearing from you.

  4. Brandon 07/08/2014 at 05:41


    I’m currently 19 years old. I had an eye muscle surgery when I was 8 years old, and at the age of 15 my squint reoccurred. I was told that a second eye muscle surgery would be required to fix my eyes. I visited 2 doctors to get more information about it and 1 of the doctors told me that a laser surgery would help fix my squint while the other said that I have to go under the knife again. As this post stated that laser eye surgery can’t fix my Strabismus but may improve appearance of my squint, may I know how does it actually improve the appearance? I have lazy eyes as well that developed from the squint. Is laser eye surgery enough to just improve the alignment of my eyes or do I really need to go under the knife again?

  5. Slal 04/04/2016 at 05:15


    I am a 41 year old man with strabismus, wearing glasses(I started wearing glasses at the age of 16) and my left eye turning inward(not lazy eye) Could my condition be improved since I am over 40 years old.

    Many thanks

    • Bethany Kingsley 09/04/2016 at 17:16

      Hi Slal,

      There is a potential that Laser eye surgery could help you, we would need more information first. Have you got your visual acuity and your prescription? You should be able to obtain both of these from your most recent eye examination. Once you have these, please do not hesitate to contact the clinic on 02072241005 so one of our Patient Care Coordinators can give you more advice.


  6. Tom 01/05/2016 at 08:34

    Hi I have strabismus/amblyopia but when I wear my glasses or contacts (which is a high prescription) my eyes are fine, if I was to get laser surgery would I get the same affect as if I was wearing my glasses ? I know my vision won’t be great but it would be amazing to wake up and see what I do in my glasses normally

    • Bethany Kingsley 18/05/2016 at 12:09

      Hi Tom,

      Yes, laser eye surgery usually aims to match the vision that you get with your glasses. We have treated many patients before with amblyopia to achieve the same vision as their glasses. Of course we would need to assess your suitability fully to determine whether Laser Eye Surgery would be the best option for you.
      Please let us know if you need any other information by getting in contact on 0207 224 1005 or via


      London Vision Clinic

  7. Alex 22/05/2016 at 23:43

    I was really confused, and this answered all my quosniets.

  8. Anne 01/12/2016 at 14:26

    Hi I am a 44 yr old female with an intermittent squint from a young age. The squint is only noticeable when I am not wearing my glasses my eye drifts out. My vision prescription is -2:00 & – 2:25 and my glasses contain prisim . I need glasses for far away vision, I want to get laser eye surgery and correct my squint as well which should I do first or does it matter

    • Bethany Kingsley 01/12/2016 at 15:53

      Hi Anne,
      It would be best for you to have a consultation for the squint surgery to see whwat they could do for you first. At this stage, after Laser Eye Surgery, you will still need glasses with the prism. However, once you have squint surgery we can then assess how much laser eye surgery can do for you and go through the risks with the squint surgery in mind.
      I hope this helps, please call the clinic on 0207 224 1005 if you have any further questions.
      Kindest Regards,
      London Vision Clinic

  9. Amy white 17/01/2018 at 05:46

    I had lazy eye that turned in then I had surgery and they over corrected it. It drifts out now,when I have glasses or contacts on!!!!! But when I take contacts or glasses off the alignment is almost centered but then I can’t see. What do you recommend. I’m 45.. Could I have LASIK. JM farsighted and astigmatism

    • Bethany Kingsley 17/01/2018 at 11:35

      Hi Amy.
      As you have already had surgery, you would need to discuss this with your Surgeon.
      A lazy eye (Amblyopia) is not a contraindication alone, but you will need to be fully assessed.
      Laser eye surgery is only able to refine the vision in an amblyopic eye to the level it can achieve with a glasses prescription.
      Hope this helps,

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