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A Closer Look at Eye Patches

Lazy eyes are seen in lots of kids, and are also fairly simple to fix. Amblyopia comes about when sight in one eye is suppressed. This may occur if someone isn't able to see well through one eye because of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something else that's blocking vision in that eye. Working in conjunction with corrective glasses, one of the treatment options involves putting an eye patch on your child's eye for a number of hours per day to strengthen vision in the lazy eye. So how does patching actually remedy the problem? Well, for the most part, employing the use of an eyepatch encourages your brain to better communicate with the weaker eye, which, over time, will help it see just as well as its stronger counterpart.

Many moms and dads find it really hard to fit their kids with patches, particularly when they're quite young. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It may be hard to explain the process to a young child; that they must wear the patch to improve their weaker eye, but can't happen successfully unless their strong eye is patched, thus restricting their sight. There are quite a few ways to help your kids wear their patch. With preschoolers, use a reward chart with stickers. Patch manufacturers are aware of the issue; patches are made in lots of patterns and colors that kids will love. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by giving them the opportunity to choose a different patch each day. For older kids, tell them about the helpfulness of patching, and refer to it as an exercise to help their vision in the long term.

Another method some parents find helpful is also putting an eye patch on their child's favorite doll or stuffed animal. For very young children, there are flotation wings to keep them from reaching their eyes to remove the patch.

A successful outcome is dependent on you to remain focused on your goal of improving your child's vision and ultimately, their quality of life.


Please be advised that all office visits including exams, frame selections, repairs, pick-ups, and drop-offs are by appointment only. We are required to wear a face mask in our office and ask that you bring yours to your appointment.

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Thank you.

The Shuswap Optometric Team