Are you concerned that your child has a lazy eye? A lazy eye develops when the brain turns off or suppresses vision in one eye. This might happen if someone struggles to see well through one eye due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something that might be blocking vision in that eye. Usually, eye patches are recommended in the treatment of lazy eyes. We generally advise our patients to wear their patch for several hours a day, and often the patients need glasses as well. So how does wearing a patch actually remedy the problem? Basically, implementing the use of an eyepatch trains your child’s brain to connect with the weaker eye, which, after some time, will strengthen it.
Many parents have trouble fitting their children with eye patches, particularly when they’re preschool-aged. When the good eye is patched, it makes it harder for your child to see. It’s a frustrating notion- your child is required to patch their eye to improve the sight in their weaker eye, but can’t happen unless their better eye is covered, which temporarily limits their vision. But fear not: there are a few ways to encourage your child to wear their patch. Using a reward chart with stickers given when the patch is worn can really work for some kids. There are lots of ready-to-wear patches available in different colors and patterns. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by giving them the opportunity to choose their patch each day. With kids who are a little older, tell them about the mechanics of wearing a patch, and refer to it as an exercise to help their eye.
Perhaps you can wear a patch also, or maybe put a patch on one of their favorite toys.
Patches are a great solution to lazy eyes and can be very effective, but it really requires you to stay committed to your goal of improving your child’s vision and ultimately, their quality of life.