Are you concerned that your child has a lazy eye? It comes about when vision in one eye is suppressed. Vision might be suppressed if a child struggles to see as well with one eye because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something else that could be obstructing vision in that eye. In most cases, an eye patch is prescribed to remedy a lazy eye. We generally tell our patients to wear their patch for several hours a day, and patients will usually also need corrective glasses. But how does wearing a patch actually help? Basically, implementing the use of an eyepatch trains your child’s brain to better communicate with the weaker eye, eventually improving how well it functions.
It can be very challenging to have your son or daughter wear a patch, especially if they are quite young. When their stronger eye is covered, it restricts their ability to see. It’s a confusing paradox- your child must cover their strong eye to better their weaker eye, but can’t happen unless their strong eye is patched, which temporarily limits their sight. But fear not: there are a number of tricks that make eyepatches a little funner for kids to wear. Employing the use of a reward chart with stickers given when the patch is worn can really work with some kids. Eye patch manufacturers understand the issue; patches are sold in loads of patterns and colors that kids can get excited about. Make it fun by giving them the opportunity to select their patch each day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch is properly worn. Older kids can usually intellectualize the process, so it’s worthwhile to have a little session where you talk about it.
Maybe wear a patch along with your child, or maybe put a patch on one of their favorite toys.
Patches are a great solution to lazy eyes and can be really successful, but it depends on you to remain committed to the long term goal.