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Helping Lazy Eyes Get Active

Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, is frequently seen in children. Amblyopia forms when the brain switches off or suppresses sight in one eye. This might happen if someone can’t see properly through one eye because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something else that’s obstructing vision in that eye. In most cases, eye patches are prescribed to remedy lazy eyes. We generally advise our patients to apply their patch for a few hours a day, and in most cases, the patients are required corrective glasses as well. So how does wearing a patch actually work? Well, for the most part, implementing the use of a patch encourages your brain to better interact with the weaker eye, which, over time, will help it see just as well as the other eye.

In some cases, it can be very hard to have your son or daughter wear a patch, and no less when they’re quite young. Their stronger eye is covered with the patch, which restricts their ability to see. It’s a frustrating notion- your child is required to wear the patch to better the sight in their weaker eye, but that weak eyesight is just the thing that makes the patching so hard. There are a few ways to encourage your child to wear their patch. For preschoolers, perhaps you can use a reward chart with stickers. There are lots of ready-to-wear patches sold in a cornucopia fun designs. Make it an activity by giving them the chance to choose their patch every day and implement the aforementioned stickers as rewards. With older children, break down the mechanics of wearing a patch, and refer to it as an exercise to build strength in the eye.

Another method some parents have found success with is also placing an eye patch on their child’s favorite doll or stuffed animal.

Patches are great and can be very helpful, but it depends 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.

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