What is Amblyopia?
Lazy eye – the medical term is Amblyopia – is a common eye condition amongst younger children. It means that one eye is not developing properly and becomes ‘lazy’ because the brain is working harder with the good eye to compensate. The problem is that if the brain ignores the lazy eye, the cells in the brain that create vision do not develop properly. Generally, Amblyopia affects just one eye but sometimes both eyes can have a problem.
What causes a ‘lazy eye’?
For children, the most important period for the development of vision is from birth to the age of 6 and if there is any interference with development during this period, then this can lead to amblyopia which is commonly caused by a squint (strabismus) in one eye, anisometropia (different vision/prescriptions in each eye), and/ or obstruction of an eye due to cataract, trauma, lid droop, etc.
Why does my child need to wear a patch?
The best and simplest way to treat lazy eye is to cover or patch (known as occluding) the other eye so the vision in the lazy eye can improve and develop the pathways to the brain.
The patch is worn over the good eye and the amount of time the patch must be worn is decided by the Orthoptist/Ophthalmologist and relates to the extent of the visual problem.
With early treatment by patching, vision can develop successfully but this becomes more difficult with older children and the level of vision achieved may not be as good.
My Child’s Treatment
Glasses must be worn
Please patch the eye RIGHT LEFT
For hours a day.
If the child wears glasses, he or she should continue to wear them even with the patch.