Placement of the patch on the sound (good) eye
The adhesive patch should be angled so the more narrow part crosses above the bridge of the nose and the wider base is on the cheekbone and temporal bones of the eye. If the right eye is being patched, then the narrow part of the adhesive patch should be angled towards the left eyebrow with the wider section towards the right jawbone. If the left eye is being patched, then the narrow part should be angled towards the right eyebrow and the wider section towards the left jawbone.Help! My toddler won't keep the patch on!
>If you and your toddler are new to patching, then you will quickly discover that keeping the patch on an active, and non-compliant, toddler will seem difficult. However, PERSEVERE!
The magic number is three
: the first three days will be difficult, as your unhappy toddler yanks off the patch and you replace it numerous times, but after three days it becomes easier. Why? Because as the vision improves in the lazy eye, your toddler will become more used to and tolerant of wearing the patch.What if my child still won't keep the patch on his good eye?
You can try limiting your child's ability to reach the patch. Arm restraints are worn on the arms, over the elbow, restricting the child's ability to reach the face, but allowing the hands to remain free for play. Cloth arm restraints are available for purchase in medical supply stores or over the internet, but less expensive options include swimming floaties, empty cardboard paper towel rolls (for a proper fit, you may need to cut the tubes lengthwise and then tape the two pieces) or a couple of empty Pringles canisters - just cut the ends off and remove the metal ring!How do you keep the patch on an active 5 year old?
At this age, it will require a lot of parental control and creativity. As the parent, you are in charge - patching is not a democratic decision! Use a reward system. The promise of a favorite activity or treat is a great incentive in exchange for a period of good patching. Resorting to bribery is encouraged if your child will wear the patch! Eye Care and Cure has several Patching Reward Posters available for purchase. After a successful day of patching, your child can remove their patch and place it on the poster. When the poster is completed, your child will have a terrific wall poster to celebrate the achievement of a patching job well done! We also offer our exclusive OrtoBears, as well as books and games that can help keep your child active during patching time.Wouldn't it just be easier to postpone patching until my child is older and able to understand why it is necessary to wear a patch?
A child's brain is very flexible until it becomes "hard-wired" at around the age of 8 years: when your child is only a second grader, the visual system has reached adulthood! Therefore, the younger the child is when patching of the good eye is begun, it is likely that the vision in the lazy eye will improve to a normal, or near normal, level. So despite the fact that your toddler can not understand why the vision in his better seeing eye has disappeared by covering it with a patch, the visual benefits to be gained in the long-term by eliminating his amblyopia at a young age are ultimately worth the aggravation!
I read in a magazine about using eye drops in the good eye instead of patching.
Yes, in certain situations, a drop called "Atropine" may be substituted for the patch. Atropine dilates the pupil and paralyzes the focusing mechanism of the eye for 2 to 3 weeks; as it is so long lasting, children with lightly colored eyes may need only one drop in the good eye every other day (children with darker eyes may require a daily drop). Atropine should be reserved for older children who are self-conscious about wearing an occlusion patch, children with skin conditions where patches applied directly to the skin can not be used, and in children with mild degrees of amblyopia ("lazy vision").