Eat, Sleep, PATCH, Repeat... Treating Amblyopia

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Whether you're patching your child for the first time or have been struggling to do so effectively, you'll find some handy tips below to help guide you through what can be a challenging journey.

What is Amblyopia?

Amblyopia is a visual impairment associated with the inability to see through one eye as well as the other

There are various causes as to why this develops, some of which include stronger prescription required in one eye over the other, or most commonly a misalignment of the eyes.

If this happens during the first 8 years of a child’s life, otherwise known as the ‘critical period’, the development of the visual system can be affected. This is primarily due to the brain using the better seeing eye and ignoring information coming from the affected eye. Fortunately, early intervention is key and can help to reduce long-term vision problems. This is why a child may be patched.

What is Patching?

Patching is when a child wears an eye patch over their ‘good eye’ in hope of strengthening their ‘weaker eye’, as it is forced to work. This is considered an effective form of treatment for amblyopia, however, children are not always receptive to wearing it, especially for long periods!

Your practitioner should normally advise how long the patch needs to be worn – it is usually a few hours a day over a number of months.

Now as a parent, if you are embarking on what can be a tiring and sometimes frustrating journey of patching your child, I wish you the best of luck and the advice that ‘persistence is key’. No doubt, you will find that patch being thrown to the floor, hidden between sofa cushions or tucked away in a corner - but it is important to make sure you stick another one back on and show them who’s boss! Your child may not thank you now, but I promise it will be all worth it in the end!

In the hope of helping you through this process, I have put together some top tips and ideas to assist you along the way. Hopefully you’ll find something that works best for you!

Top Tips