Amblyopia, which is also called lazy eye, is a condition commonly seen in children. A lazy eye develops when vision is suppressed, but only in one eye. This may happen if a child can't see properly through one eye due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something that's limiting clear sight in that eye. Usually, an eye patch is prescribed to remedy lazy eyes. We generally tell our patients to apply their patch for several hours a day, and patients will often also require corrective glasses. So how does patching actually remedy the problem? Well, for the most part, employing the use of a patch trains your child's brain to connect with the weaker eye, which, following a period of time, will help it see just as well as its stronger counterpart.
A lot of parents find it really hard to fit their kids with patches, particularly when they're on the younger side. When the stronger eye is covered, it makes it harder for your child to see. It may be challenging to justify the process to a young child; that they need to patch their strong eye to better the sight in their weaker eye, but can't happen unless their strong eye is patched, which temporarily limits their vision. There are quite a few methods that make eyepatches a little easier for children to wear. Employing the use of a reward system with stickers given when the patch is worn can really work with some kids. Patch manufacturers sympathize with your plight; patches are sold in lots of patterns and colors that kids will love. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by allowing them to select a new and fun patch each day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch is properly worn. For older children, break down the importance of patching, and talk about it as an exercise to help their vision in the long term.
Perhaps wear a patch along with your child, or have a favorite stuffed animal or doll wear a patch too.
A good result needs your child's assistance and your ability to stick to the long-term goal of restoring good vision in your child's weaker eye.