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A Closer Look at Eye Patches

Are you concerned that your child has a lazy eye? A lazy eye develops when the brain switches off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if someone struggles to see as well with one of their eyes because of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Along with eye glasses, a common treatment option includes putting an eye patch on your child’s eye for a number of hours per day to strengthen vision in the lazy eye. Patching.

Often, parents have trouble fitting their children with patches, especially if they’re preschool-aged. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It’s a tricky notion- your child is required to patch their eye to help their weaker eye, but can’t happen successfully unless their strong eye is covered, which temporarily limits their sight. There are quite a few ways to help your child wear their patch. For preschoolers, you may find success by using a reward chart with stickers. Patch manufacturers are aware of the issue; patches are made in lots of patterns and colors that kids can get excited about. Involve your child in the process and make it an activity by giving them the chance to choose a new and fun patch every day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch stays on. For kids who are a little older, tell them about the mechanics of patching, and talk about it as an exercise to help the eye.

A good result needs you to stay focused on the goal of improving your child’s vision and ultimately, their quality of life.