Patching is a common treatment for amblyopia. Also commonly known as “lazy eye,” amblyopia is a condition in which the eye does not communicate properly with the brain. Children with amblyopia often develop good vision in one eye and poor vision in the other.
How Patching Therapy Works
In some cases, children with amblyopia can wear an eye patch over their stronger eye to help strengthen the weaker eye. Your child’s provider will determine how many hours per day the patch should be worn.
Tips for Encouraging Your Child to Wear the Patch
Making sure children wear the patch can be challenging. Download our patching chart to help encourage your child to wear their patch.
The key to patching is to try to make it fun and use distractions, as the patch must be worn during the hours your child is awake.
Here are some pointers to help keep the patching process as easy as possible:
- Get up and dance: Put on your child’s favorite nursery rhymes or songs and let them dance around and sing, all while patching!
- Color or read books: Using the non-patched eye to read or color forces it to focus and become stronger
- Screen time: Watching TV or playing with a tablet (in moderation, of course) also helps force the non-patched eye to focus and become stronger
- During nap time: You can place the patch on the recommended eye while child is still sleeping and start the patching time once the child has woken up (they may not even realize it is on!)
- Decorating patches: If you buy a plain patch, help your child draw their own pictures or place stickers on their patch to make it their own