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Patch It Up

Amblyopia, also referred to as lazy eye, is frequently seen in lots of the kids we treat. Amblyopia develops when the brain shuts off or suppresses vision in one eye. This may happen if a child isn't able to see as well with one eye because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something that's blocking clear sight in that eye. In addition to eye glasses, a reliable treatment option is putting an eye patch on your child's eye for a number of hours per day to stimulate sight in the lazy eye. But how does wearing a patch actually remedy the problem? In short, implementing the use of an eye patch helps your brain to connect with the weaker eye, which, after some time, will help it see just as well as the other eye.

In some cases, it can be extremely challenging to have your child fitted with a patch, and even harder when they're too young to fully comprehend the concept. Their stronger eye is patched, which restricts their ability to see. It's a frustrating paradox- your child needs to patch their strong eye to improve their weaker eye, but that weak eyesight is just the thing that makes patches so difficult. But don't worry; there are a number of ways to help your kids keep their patch on. Using a reward system with stickers given when the patch is worn can be successful for some kids. Patch manufacturers are aware of your plight; patches are made in lots of kid-friendly colors and patterns. Let your child be a part of the process and make it fun by allowing them to select their patch each day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch stays on. Kids who are a little older can usually comprehend the process, so it's productive to sit and talk to them about it.

A successful result needs your child's cooperation and your ability to remain focused on the long-term goal of restoring good vision in your child's weaker eye.

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