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Your Optometrists in the Santa Cruz area!

Your Optometrists in the Santa Cruz area!

Home » What’s New » Treating Lazy Eyes in Children

Treating Lazy Eyes in Children

Many our younger patients experience a lazy eye. It develops when the brain shuts off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if a child can't see as well with one of their eyes because of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, or something that could be blocking vision in that eye. In most cases, eye patches are the central and most productive part of strengthening a lazy eye. We generally advise our patients to have their patch on for several hours daily, and patients will often also need corrective glasses. Patching.

Often, parents find it quite difficult to fit their kids with patches, especially if they're preschool-aged. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which infringes on their ability to see. It can be difficult to justify the process to your young child; that they need to wear the patch to help their weaker eye, but this can only be done when their strong eye is patched, thus restricting their sight. There are a few tricks to encourage your child to wear their patch. With preschool-aged kids, use a reward chart with stickers. Patch manufacturers understand the issue; patches are available in loads of patterns and colors that kids will love. Take advantage of all the options and make it an activity by giving them the chance to choose a new and fun patch every day. With older kids, break down the mechanics of wearing a patch, and refer to it as an exercise to build strength in the eye.

 

Patches are great and can be really helpful, but it depends on you to stay focused on the long term goal.