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Patches: Not Just For Pirates

Does your child have a lazy eye? Amblyopia forms when the brain turns off or suppresses vision in one eye. This might happen if a child struggles to see well through one eye due to issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. Along with eye glasses, one of the treatment options involves patching your child's eye for a number of hours per day to boost sight in the lazy eye. So how does patching actually work? Well, for the most part, employing the use of a patch encourages your child's brain to connect with the weaker eye, eventually improving how well it functions.

It can be extremely hard to have your son or daughter fitted with an eye patch, and even harder when they're really young. When the good eye is covered, it infringes on their ability to see. It's a frustrating notion- your child is required to wear the patch to help their weaker eye, but this can only be done when their strong eye is covered, thus restricting their vision. But fear not: there are several ways to help your son or daughter wear their patch. For preschoolers, perhaps you can use a reward chart with stickers. There are lots of adhesive patches sold in different colors and patterns. Take advantage of all the options and make it an activity by giving them the chance to select a new and fun patch every day and implement the aforementioned stickers as prizes. Kids who are a little older will be able to understand the process, so it's productive to sit and talk to them about it.

Perhaps you can wear a patch also, or have a favorite stuffed animal or doll wear a patch too. For very young children, you can use flotation wings to prevent them from reaching their eyes to remove the patch.

Patches are great and can be very successful, but it really requires you to stay committed to your long term goal.