Bringing Life Into Focus: Information For Parents Of Children With Lazy Eye

Health & Medical Articles

Amblyopia is the medical term for the condition commonly known as lazy eye. Your child may not even notice the condition, but parents or teachers frequently spot it because the so-called "lazy" eye wanders off to one side even when the child is looking directly at you. This can give the impression that the child is cross-eyed, but this is usually only temporary. However, the issue is more than just cosmetic – children who have amblyopia may suffer from poor depth perception, blurry vision, and other visual difficulties that can make school and daily activities more difficult. There are several different treatment options for children with lazy eye. Take a look at some of the treatments and learn how you can help your child overcome lazy eye.

The Patch

The patch is probably the best-known treatment for lazy eye. The premise of this treatment is simple: covering the stronger eye with a patch forces the wandering eye to stay in place and do its job. Repeated stretches of time wearing the patch strengthens the weaker eye so that it no longer wanders.

The patches used to treat amblyopia aren't the pirate's patches with an elastic strap that your child wears when dressing up for Halloween. Usually, the patches are held in place with adhesive. Naturally, some children object to wearing an eye patch for any number of reasons. While these patches are usually flesh-colored by default, you may be able to make them more appealing to your child by choosing patches that are decorated with bright colors, cartoon characters, or other kid-friendly designs.

It also helps that new information shows that children don't need to wear the patch for as many hours a day as previously thought to effectively treat lazy eye. While it was thought that children needed to wear the patch for six hours a day, new studies show that children who wear the patch for only two hours a day see the same amount of improvement. You can help ensure that your child gets the time that they need with less fuss by carving out time for them to wear the patch when they're at home, not at school, and when they don't have other social activities or obligations. This way, you can monitor whether they're keeping the patch on like they should, and your child won't have to worry about teasing from peers.

Therapeutic Exercises

The patch may be the most common treatment for lazy eye, but that doesn't mean that it's the only treatment, nor does it mean that it's necessarily the best treatment. For some children, vision therapy exercises, done either in conjunction with the patch or instead of patching, have great success in helping children focus and allowing both eyes to work together normally.

Vision therapy exercises may be done both in-office and at home. Vision therapy will be most successful if parents take an active role in helping their child complete the exercises. You may need to commit to frequent regular trips to the eye doctor, or you may need to learn how to direct your child's therapy exercises at home, or both. Either way, you'll need to take a proactive role in helping your child improve their vision.

You may also want to look into which types of exercises will be most beneficial to your child. There are many different types of therapy tools out there, including things that are sure to appeal to children, such as coloring pages, cartoon movies, and video games adapted to treat amblyopia. That may make vision therapy more attractive and enjoyable for your child.

The good news is that amblyopia is usually very treatable in children, especially when caught early, and you do have choices when it comes to treatment. If you suspect that your child may have a lazy eye, see your eye doctor right away for testing and treatment information. If you're interested, you can discover more here about vision therapy.


1 February 2016

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