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Helping Lazy Eyes Get Active

Amblyopia, also called lazy eye, is frequently seen in many of our younger patients. It comes about when the brain shuts off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if your child struggles to see as well with one eye due to issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. In addition to corrective glasses, a common treatment option includes placing an eye patch on your child's eye for a number of hours per day to strengthen sight in the lazy eye. Patching.

It can be extremely hard to have your son or daughter wear a patch, and even harder when they're really young. When the stronger eye is patched, it makes it harder for your child to see. It may be hard to explain the process to your young child; that they need to wear the patch to improve their weaker eye, but this can only be done when their strong eye is covered, which temporarily limits their sight. But fear not: there are a number of ways to encourage your child to wear their patch. Implementing a reward chart with stickers can really work with some kids. Patch manufacturers understand the challenge; patches are sold in loads of kid-friendly colors and patterns. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by giving them the opportunity to select their patch every day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch is properly worn. For older children, explain the mechanics of wearing a patch, and talk about it as a way to build strength in the eye.

Another trick 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 really effective, but it depends on your child's help 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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