Patches: Not Just For Pirates

Lazy eyes are very common, and are also quite easy to fix. Amblyopia forms when the brain switches off or suppresses vision in one eye. This can occur if your child struggles to see well through one eye due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something else that might be blocking clear sight in that eye. Working in conjunction with eye glasses, a common treatment option is patching your child’s eye for a number of hours per day to strengthen sight in the lazy eye. But how does patching really remedy the problem? Basically, wearing a patch trains your child’s brain to connect with the weaker eye, eventually improving how well it functions.

Many moms and dads have trouble fitting their children with eye patches, especially if they’re preschool-aged. Their stronger eye is patched, which infringes on their ability to see. It can be hard to justify the process to a young child; that they must patch their strong eye to help the eyesight in their weaker eye, but not being able to see well is precisely what makes the patching so hard. There are several tricks that make eyepatches a little funner for children to wear. Employing the use of a reward chart with stickers can be great for some kids. There are lots of adhesive patches available in many colors and patterns. Take advantage of all the options and make it an activity by giving them the chance to choose a different patch each day. Kids who are a little older will be able to intellectualize how patching works, so it’s productive to sit and talk to them about it.

Maybe you can wear a patch as well, or have a favorite stuffed animal or doll wear a patch too. Flotation wings are also helpful in keeping little kids from pulling their patches off.

Patches are a great solution to lazy eyes and can be really helpful, but it depends on you to keep committed to the long term goal.

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