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Focusing on Lazy Eyes

Lots of our younger patients experience a lazy eye. Amblyopia comes about when the brain shuts off or suppresses sight in one eye. This may occur if a child isn't able to see well through one eye due to nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something else that's blocking clear sight in that eye. Coupled with eye glasses, one of the treatment options is patching your child's eye for a number of hours per day to boost vision in the lazy eye. Patching.

It can be very difficult to have your child fitted with a patch, especially when they're quite young. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It's a frustrating paradox- your child must wear the patch to help the eyesight in their weaker eye, but that weak eyesight is just the thing that makes the patching so hard. There are a number of ways that make eyepatches a bit easier for kids to wear. With preschool-aged kids, perhaps you can use a sticker chart. There are lots of adhesive patches sold in a cornucopia fun designs. Take advantage of all the options and make it an activity by giving them the chance to select a different patch each day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch stays on. For kids who are a little older, break down the helpfulness of patching, and refer to it as an exercise to strengthen the eye.

Another thing some parents find helpful is also putting an eye patch on their child's favorite doll or stuffed animal.

Patches are great and can be very effective, but it depends on you to keep focused on your long term goal.