Lazy eyes are seen in lots of kids, and are also quite easy to rectify. It forms when sight is suppressed, but only in one eye. This may happen if your child struggles to see properly through one eye due to issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. Usually, an eye patch is prescribed to remedy a lazy eye. Our patients are instructed to have their patch on for a couple of hours a day, and in most cases, the patients need corrective glasses as well. So how does wearing a patch actually remedy the problem? Basically, wearing a patch helps your brain to connect with the weaker eye, eventually strengthening how well it functions.
It can be quite difficult to have your son or daughter wear a patch, especially when they’re too young to really understand the treatment process. When their good eye is covered, it infringes on their ability to see. It’s a tricky notion- your child needs to wear the patch to improve the eyesight in their weaker eye, but can’t happen unless their strong eye is covered, which temporarily limits their vision. But fear not: there are a few tricks to encourage your child to wear their patch. With preschool-aged kids, use a sticker chart. Eye patch manufacturers are aware of the challenge; patches are available in loads of patterns and colors that kids will love. Let your child be feel like they’re a part of the process and make it an activity by giving them the chance to choose a new and fun patch every day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch stays on. With kids who are a little older, tell them about the mechanics of patching, and talk about it as an effective way to help their vision in the long term.
For very young children, you can use flotation wings to keep them from unsticking their patches.
A good result needs your child’s cooperation and your ability to stay focused on the long-term goal of recovering good vision in your child’s weaker eye.