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Eye Patches: A Simple Solution to a Common Problem

Does your child have a lazy eye? Amblyopia forms when the brain turns off or suppresses vision in one eye. This can happen if your child can't see well through one eye due to issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something else that's blocking clear vision in that eye. In most cases, an eye patch is prescribed to remedy lazy eyes. We generally instruct our patients to have their patch on for a few hours each day, and in most cases, the patients need glasses as well. So how does patching really help? In short, wearing an eyepatch encourages your brain to connect with the weaker eye, and over time, strengthen it.

Many parents have trouble fitting their kids with patches, particularly when they're quite young. When the good eye is covered, it infringes on their ability to see. It's a tricky paradox- your child is required to patch their eye to better the eyesight in their weaker eye, but that weak eyesight is precisely the thing that makes patches so hard. There are a few methods to encourage your child to wear their patch. Employing the use of a reward system with stickers can be successful with some kids. There are a variety of adhesive patches available in a cornucopia fun designs. Involve your child in the process and make it an activity by allowing them to select their patch every day. With kids who are a little older, explain the importance of patching, and talk about it as an exercise to help their vision in the long term.

Another trick some parents have found success with is also placing a patch on their child's favorite doll or stuffed animal.

A positive outcome is dependent on your child's cooperation and your ability to remain focused on the long-term goal of helping your child's vision.