Lazy eyes are pretty common, and are also not difficult to fix. It develops when sight is suppressed, but only in one eye. This can occur if a child struggles to see properly through one eye because of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something that may be obstructing vision in that eye. Along with corrective glasses, one of the treatment options is placing an eye patch on your child’s eye for a number of hours per day to boost vision in the lazy eye. So how does wearing a patch really help? In short, wearing a patch encourages your brain to better communicate with the weaker eye, which, after some time, will help that eye get stronger.
It can be quite challenging to have your child wear a patch, and even harder when they’re too young to really understand the treatment process. Their stronger eye is patched, which infringes on their ability to see. It may be difficult to justify the process to your young child; that they must patch their strong eye to improve their weaker eye, but not being able to see well is precisely what makes patches so difficult. But fear not: there are quite a few methods that make eyepatches a bit easier for kids to wear. Implementing a reward chart with stickers can really work for some kids. There are lots of adhesive patches sold in a cornucopia fun designs. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by giving them the chance to select a new and fun patch each day. For kids who are a little older, explain the mechanics of patching, and refer to it as a way to help their vision in the long term.
Perhaps wear a patch together with your child, or maybe put a patch on one of their favorite toys. Flotation wings are also helpful in preventing younger patients from pulling their patches off.
A positive result needs your child’s help and your ability to stay focused on the long-term goal of helping your child’s vision.