Understanding Cyclotropia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

What is Cyclotropia?

Cyclotropia, also known as “torsional strabismus” or “cyclodeviation”, is a condition characterised by the misalignment of the eyes. Unlike more common forms of strabismus where the eyes deviate horizontally, cyclotropia involves a rotational misalignment. This means that one eye is tilted relative to the other, resulting in a twisted or tilted appearance.

Causes of Cyclotropia

Several factors can contribute to the development of cyclotropia, including:

  1. Muscle Imbalance: Dysfunction or imbalance in the extraocular muscles responsible for controlling eye movements can lead to cyclotropia.

  2. Neurological Conditions: Certain neurological disorders, such as cranial nerve palsies or brainstem abnormalities, may affect the control of eye movements, resulting in cyclotropia.

  3. Trauma: Head injuries or trauma to the eye area can disrupt the normal functioning of the eye muscles, leading to cyclotropia.

  4. Congenital Factors: Some individuals may be born with congenital abnormalities affecting the alignment of the eyes, including cyclotropia.

Symptoms of Cyclotropia

The symptoms of cyclotropia can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  1. Double Vision: Patients may experience double vision, particularly when looking in certain directions.

  2. Head Tilting: To compensate for the misalignment of the eyes, individuals with cyclotropia may tilt or turn their head to achieve a more comfortable visual alignment.

  3. Eye Strain: Straining of the eyes, headaches, and discomfort may occur due to the effort required to maintain visual fusion.

  4. Reduced Depth Perception: Cyclotropia can affect depth perception, making tasks such as judging distances or navigating stairs more challenging.

Treatment Options for Cyclotropia

Treatment for cyclotropia aims to realign the eyes and improve visual function. The appropriate course of action depends on various factors, including the underlying cause and severity of the condition. Treatment options may include:

  1. Eye Exercises: Eye exercises may help improve eye coordination and reduce the severity of cyclotropia, particularly in cases related to muscle weakness or imbalance.

  2. Eye Muscle (strabismus) Surgery: Strabismus surgery may be recommended to realign the eyes and restore binocular vision.

  3. Botulinum Toxin Injections: In certain cases, injections of botulinum toxin into specific eye muscles may be used to temporarily weaken or relax overactive muscles, helping to alleviate cyclotropia.


Cyclotropia, though less common than other forms of strabismus, can significantly impact visual function and quality of life. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for cyclotropia is crucial for individuals affected by this condition. 

If you or your loved one are experiencing symptoms of cyclotropia, contact us to seek professional evaluation and treatment. At Clarity Eye Surgeons, we’re dedicated to providing comprehensive care and personalised solutions to address your unique needs.