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Walter Shurminsky O.D.

Home » News and Events » Patches: Not Just For Pirates

Patches: Not Just For Pirates

Lazy eyes are seen in many children, and are also quite easy to treat. It comes about when the brain shuts off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if someone isn't able to see as well with one of their eyes because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something that could be limiting clear sight in that eye. In most cases, an eye patch is prescribed to remedy a lazy eye. We generally instruct our patients to have their patch on for several hours daily, and patients will usually also need corrective glasses. So how does wearing a patch actually work? Basically, employing the use of a patch encourages your brain to connect with the weaker eye, which, following a period of time, will help that eye get stronger.

It can be very difficult to have your son or daughter fitted with an eye patch, and even harder when they're quite young. Their more active eye is patched, which makes it harder for your child to see. It may be tricky to justify the process to a young child; that they need to cover their eye to improve their weaker eye, but that weak eyesight is exactly the thing that makes patches so hard. There are a number of tricks that make eyepatches a little easier for kids to wear. Using a reward chart with stickers given when the patch is worn can be great with some kids. Patch manufacturers understand your plight; patches are made in loads of kid-friendly colors and patterns. Make it an activity by giving them the chance to choose their patch each day and using the reward chart with stickers For kids who are a little older, explain the importance of patching, and talk about it as an effective way to strengthen the eye.

A good result is dependent on your child's cooperation and your ability to stick to the long-term goal of helping your child's vision.