Lots of kids experience a lazy eye. Amblyopia develops when the brain shuts off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if a child isn't able to see well through one eye due to issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something that might be obstructing clear vision in that eye. Usually, patches are recommended in the treatment of lazy eyes. Our patients are advised to wear their patch for several hours a day, and patients will often also need corrective glasses. So how does wearing a patch actually remedy the problem? Well, for the most part, implementing the use of a patch encourages your child's brain to connect with the weaker eye, which, after some time, will help it see just as well as its stronger counterpart.
In some cases, it can be extremely hard to have your child fitted with an eye patch, especially when they're too young to really understand the treatment. Their more active eye is patched, which makes it harder for your child to see. It's a tricky conundrum- your child is required to wear the patch to better their weaker eye, but this can only be done when their better eye is patched, which temporarily limits their vision. There are a few tricks that make eyepatches a little less challenging for children to wear. Implementing a reward system with stickers can be great with some kids. There are lots of adhesive patches available in a cornucopia colors and patterns. Make it fun by giving them the chance to choose a new and fun patch each day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch is properly worn. With kids who are a little older, explain the importance of wearing a patch, and refer to it as an effective way to build strength in their eye.
Perhaps you can wear a patch also, 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 your child's cooperation and your ability to remain focused on the long-term goal of restoring visual acuity in your child's weaker eye.