Are you worried your child has a lazy eye? Amblyopia comes about when sight is suppressed, but only in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if someone isn't able to see as well with one of their eyes because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something that's limiting vision in that eye. Usually, an eye patch is recommended in the treatment of a lazy eye. We generally advise our patients to apply their patch for several hours a day, and in most cases, the patients are required eye glasses as well. But how does patching actually work? Basically, employing the use of an eyepatch encourages your child's brain to connect with the weaker eye, and over time, strengthen it.
In some cases, it can be extremely difficult to have your son or daughter wear a patch, and even harder when they're quite young. When the good eye is patched, it infringes on their ability to see. It can be challenging to justify the process to your young child; that they must cover their eye to improve their weaker eye, but this can only be done when their strong eye is covered, thus restricting their vision. But don't worry; there are several tricks that make eyepatches a little funner for kids to wear. Using a reward chart with stickers given when the patch is worn can really work with some kids. There are a variety of ready-to-wear patches sold in different colors and patterns. Involve your child in the process and make it an activity by giving them the opportunity to choose their patch each day. Older kids will be able to understand the process, so it's productive to have a little session where you talk about it.
For very young children, there are flotation wings to stop them from pulling at their patches.
Patches are great and can be very successful, but it really requires your child's help and your ability to remain focused on the long-term goal of improving your child's vision.