Does your son or daughter have a lazy eye? A lazy eye comes about when sight is suppressed, but only in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if someone can't see well through one eye because of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. In most cases, eye patches are prescribed to remedy lazy eyes. We generally tell our patients to apply their patch for several hours a day, and patients will usually also require corrective glasses. But how does patching actually help? Basically, employing the use of an eyepatch encourages your child's brain to better interact with the weaker eye, which, after some time, will strengthen it.
In some cases, it can be quite challenging to have your son or daughter fitted with an eye patch, and even harder when they're really young. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It's a tricky paradox- your child needs to wear the patch to improve their weaker eye, but can't happen unless their better eye is covered, which temporarily limits their vision. But fear not: there are several ways to encourage your child to wear their patch. With preschool-aged kids, you may find success by using a sticker chart. There are lots of ready-to-wear patches available in a cornucopia colors and patterns. Make it an activity by giving them the opportunity to choose their patch every day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch stays on. For older children, break down the mechanics of patching, and talk about it as an exercise to help their eye.
Patches are a great solution to lazy eyes and can be very successful, but it really requires your child's assistance and your ability to stick to the long-term goal of recovering strong vision in your child's weaker eye.