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A Closer Look at Eye Patches

Are you worried your child has a lazy eye? A lazy eye forms when sight in one eye is suppressed. This can occur if your child can't see as well with one of their eyes because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. Coupled with eye glasses, a common treatment option is patching your child's eye for a number of hours per day to strengthen vision in the lazy eye. Patching.

It can be frustratingly difficult to have your son or daughter fitted with a patch, and even harder if they are really young. When their stronger eye is covered, it makes it harder for your child to see. It can be difficult to rationalize the process to your young child; that they need to wear the patch to improve the sight in their weaker eye, but can't happen unless their better eye is covered, which temporarily limits their sight. But don't worry; there are a few ways that make eyepatches a little funner for children to wear. For preschoolers, use a sticker chart. Eye patch manufacturers understand the issue; patches are made in lots of kid-friendly colors and patterns. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by giving them the opportunity to select their patch each day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch stays on. For older kids, tell them about the importance of wearing a patch, and talk about it as a way to strengthen their eye.

For very young children, you can use flotation wings to keep them from reaching their eyes to remove the patch.

A positive outcome is dependent on your child's cooperation and your ability to stick to the long-term goal of recovering strong vision in your child's weaker eye.