Parents, don’t be alarmed if your optometrist says your child needs an eye patch. You might have questioned why your little one needs to even wear one, but rest assured, it’s just a necessary procedure to treat amblyopia.
What’s there to cover?
Amblyopia, or more commonly known as ‘lazy eye’, is the most common reason why children wear an eye patch. In order for children to see clearly, both eyes must function well together. When your child has amblyopia, it means that one eye doesn’t see as well as the other. This can cause your child’s brain to process images and sights a little blurry. If left untreated, your child’s vision in that eye may be lost permanently.
To train the weaker eye, your optometrist will usually place an eye patch over the ‘good’ eye. This is done to train and strengthen the weaker eye to see clearly. You can think of it as a workout for the other eye.
So how can we parents help?
Using an eyepatch to treat amblyopia is one of the most effective methods of treating the condition. However, it can be unnerving for children to cover one side of their eyes, especially their ‘good’ eye. When that happens, you’ll find your child itching to peel the eye patch off or complaining incessantly. Here are some tips that can help make eye patching a less anxious process for your child:
1. Get all the information you need from your optometrist
First things first, check with your child’s optometrist how long he/she would need to wear the eye patch. In some circumstances, children are only supposed to wear the eye patch for a few hours each day. This could be a huge relief for your little one who hates the discomfort of wearing an eye patch for extended periods of time. Also, for most patches, your child only has to wear it when he/she is awake. There’s no need to go to sleep with it so your child can sleep comfortably!
2. Focus your child’s attention on other projects during patch time
Try to keep your child busy while he/she is wearing the patch to get their mind off of it. You could perhaps organise an arts and crafts project, a day out at the park, or even a little board game activity together!
3. Check in with your optometrist regularly
It’s important to schedule regular check ups with your optometrist to examine the progress of your child’s eyes. Your optometrist will be able to report on your child’s vision health development, whether there’s a need to continue patching, and if so, how long more.
Our children’s eyes are important to the overall development of their health. If your child has amblyopia or other vision issues, it’s necessary that you follow up with your optometrist has soon as possible to determine and treat the problem. You can book a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist near you today at planoeyecheck.com* to monitor and examine your child’s visual health.
*only available in Singapore