Does your son or daughter have a lazy eye? A lazy eye forms when the brain shuts off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if a child isn't able to see properly through one eye because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. In most cases, an eye patch is prescribed to remedy a lazy eye. We generally tell our patients to apply their patch for a few hours daily, and in most cases, the patients will need eye glasses as well. But how does wearing a patch actually remedy the problem? In short, wearing an eyepatch trains your child's brain to connect with the weaker eye, and over time, strengthen it.
It can be frustratingly hard to have your son or daughter fitted with a patch, and no less if they are quite young. When the better eye is patched, it infringes on their ability to see. It's a confusing conundrum- your child needs to patch their strong eye to improve the sight in their weaker eye, but this can only be done when their strong eye is patched, thus restricting their vision. There are several ways that make eyepatches a bit less challenging for children to wear. Implementing a reward chart with stickers can really work for some kids. There are lots of ready-to-wear patches sold in different fun designs. Let your child be a part of the process and make it fun by giving them the opportunity to select a new and fun patch each day. Older kids can usually intellectualize the patching process, so it's worthwhile to have a little session where you talk about it.
Maybe wear a patch together with your child, or have a favorite stuffed animal or doll wear a patch too. For very young children, you can use flotation wings to stop them from removing their patches.
A successful 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 lazy eye.
Book an appointment and get treatment by your optometrist in the Bronx, NY today!