Children eye patching tips for parents to prevent amblyopia

We all know that patching on children eyes is not an easy job. Here some important eye patching tips for parents that improve the effectivity of patching therapy in amblyopia treatment in children.

Patching on the eye means a patch which is applied over the for improvement of vision in another eye. This technique is using last 200 years for the treatment of amblyopia. Amblyopia means the best corrected visual acuity is 6/12 or 20/40 for distance without any pathological disease in the eye. The condition is also called lazy eye. In medical term, it is a type of visual disorder where vision is reduced because the affected eye and brain not working together. Actually, our brain responded to the image of good eye only.  Patching advises for the good eye, so that child can use the amblyopic eye for more strength.  Very rare case amblyopia is binocular. About 2 to 3 percent population of U.S   have some degree of amblyopia.

There are several causes of amblyopia but anisometropic refractive error and squint (Strabismus) are the major causes of amblyopia.

What are the sign and symptoms of amblyopia?
  • Squint of the eye (Inward or outward)
  • Unequal power of glass in both eyes
  • Head tilting
  • Abnormal result in vision screening test
What are the treatments of amblyopia?
  • Correct the refractive error
  • Eye Patching
How to do the patch in case of amblyopia?

Till now, Pathing is the golden standard treatment for amblyopia. Patching should be done in good eye and force the child to use bad eye. Patching should be done daily 2-3 hours. Previously doctor advised for a full day but recent studies proved that daily 2-3 hours patching is same effective as full day patching of the eye. But remember that time child should be doing some activity like painting, mobile game, watching television etc.

If both eyes are suffering from amblyopia then patching should be done alternatively. That means one-day right eye and next day left the eye. So, weekly 3 days right eye and 3 days left eye alternatively.

Remember patching should be done with full correction of the refractive error that means they should wear glass also. Only patching will not improve the vision of the amblyopic eye.

Till which age amblyopia can be treated? Until 7 years of age patching therapy works well and significant vision improvement was seen. After that improvement of vision is very less or nil. But few researchers told that vision can improve till 12 years of age by patching therapy. Modern research telling that vision may be improved upto 17 years old. What are the myths about patching therapy?
  1. Patching can improve vision any age
  2. Patching can reduce the refractive error of the eye
  3. Patching means get back natural vision with naked eye
What are the problems with the eye patch?

Many parents complaints that child doesn’t want to do patching. Yes, it is true that many children don’t want to do patching over their eyes. The reason behind that the eye patch is applied over directly on the eye and the spectacle is worn on that. So if the visual acuity in bad eye is very less then child feel lots of uncomfortable due to less vision.

Also, sometimes it is very difficult to remove eye patch from eye because of the patch sticking with the skin very tightly. They feel pain while removing it. Sometimes it sticks with eyebrows. That is one reason for avoiding patching by children. So parents should not angry on their childer. Better to ask your eye care specialist regarding eye patching tips that can help your children to improve the vision of lazy eye.

Children eye patching tips
P.C- National Eye Institute (NEI)
See above picture: How applied patching on eyes. Spectacle must wear if any kinds of refractive error present.  Another choice is to apply the eye-patch on the spectacle. This technique is good but children always try to pip below the patch.

Here some eye patching tips for parents that can help parents

The role of parents to motivate the patching therapy:

Parents should motivate their child to apply the patch on the eye. They need to spend some time with children. Maybe father or mother patch their eye and play with them. Find their favorite mobile game and play with them while patching the good eye. Also, motivate them to read books and draw pictures with patching.  The main aim of using patch is to use the suppressed eye more and make sure that child is not using their good eye. Put some cartoon or heroes poster with an eye patch at the wall of your home that they like. 

Children eye patching tips for parents   Also, find some eye patch which is not stuck with skin very tightly.
pirate-eye-patch
Pirate eye patch
Apply the patch over the glasses, not over the eye. patch-on-glass Hope above eye patching tips for children will help parents to do this easily. If father or mother anyone give at least 2-hours in a day that will help a lot for improving eyesight and lazy eye will be a good eye.
Krishnendu Mandal
Optometrist, Blogger, Blogging since Jan 2016

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