Eye Patching for Lazy Eye

Updated on December 31, 2010
D.T. asks from Libertyville, IL
8 answers

Hello, I am wondering what has worked best for those of you who have had to do eye patching. Would you recommend the regular pirate eye patch or the over the glasses patching? So far, we have been doing the pirate patching, but I would like to choose something that would be more comfortable and make my daughter more compliant. We have not been very good about the patching either, any advice on that front would be helpful as well. Thanks!

For those asking/curious, my daughter is now 6 yo and we started patching when she was 4 with adhesive patches for 1/2 day. I have no idea what her vision is, forgot.

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answers from Chicago on

My daughter started patching when she was 4yrs. We used the over the glasses patch. The eye doctor has cute ones with flowers, rainbows, etc for her to choose from. We did try the pirate patch too, but she didn't like, and it was harder to get her to do it. We at first had to patch for 2 hrs everyday, then down to 1hr. We tried to do fun things while she patched, like play games or watch a movie in order to motivate her. She had to patch for about a year and a half. Now she is almost 7 and we haven't had to patch in about a year.She still has to wear glasses and actually has bifocals, but her eye is now straight and has no vision problems. Hope it helps and good luck.

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answers from Chicago on

I recently heard that acupuncture can help with lazy eye. It's something to consider since the patch is a struggle for most. I can put you in touch with an educated acupuncturist in Naperville if you like.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

I'm with you! One of my twin girls has Strabismus and the glasses were a constant battle. My in-laws who watch the girls while we work were not helpful in inforcing the wearing. We have tried sticker charts with rewards and all kinds of things that other moms on this site recomended.
The Dr. decided to try patching her eyes, alternating every 2-3 hours until the 12th of January. We have had battles with this also. I have drawn cartoon characters, flowers, etc. on them to make them prettier. (we use the patch that sticks directly to the eye area). We have not had any better luck with getting her to wear them and of course not much help from in-laws. ("She wouldn't wear it" or "She wouldnt let us put it on her" as if she is the boss!)
Anyway, we are going to the Dr. on the 12th, and I am expecting him to say he is going to schedule surgery. I'm so heartbroken. My MIL keeps saying,"I prayed over her, she will be fine"! Yes, I believe in prayers and miracles, but I also believe that 'God helps those that help themselves'. I wonder how she will feel when the dr. says 'surgery'.
Maybe a sticker chart will work with rewards after so many stickers are won (we did stickers for every hour she wore her glasses) or drawing things on the patch.
Good Luck. It is a battle that is better fought even if you 'loose' than to not fight at all! Persevere!

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answers from Boston on

Our doctor said you have until about age 9 when the "amplification for both eyes" is set. Until then the brain will try to increase the vision in one eye if the good eye is patched. We used the patches directly on her skin, we bought boxes with fun patterns and a sticky back. My daughter would wear her patches 4 hour per day in the beginning and later less hours per day. If you use patches on the glasses they can look around them. Between ages 5 and 9 our daughter went from 20/200 in one eye to 20/35. Be persistent since you have a short time window to do the patching and for it to have effect. You did not state the child's age or eye strength, but it is well worth the hassle to patch daily. Good luck.

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answers from Sacramento on

Hi D.,
Our daughter was diagnosed with strabismus at age 4, in her left eye. We started with glasses and when we didn't see the improvement that was expected we were told to patch for 1 hour a day 5 days a week. After more improvement we were told that she could begin using an ointment in her right eye that would be easier for her to use and more effective than her patch. (She hated the patch. We did get her a "framehugger" patch which was much more comfortable for her than any of the other we found, but she was embarrassed to wear it and found it cumbersome.)

Now at age 6, she puts in her ointment by herself and we are continuing to see improvement. There hasn't been talk of surgery for correction, but she may have to always wear glasses.

I would make sure that your are taking your daughter to a good pediatric opthmologist, and follow through on whatever they recommend.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I wore a patch for one year when I was about her age. I think I was 4 or 5. Mom put the adhesive patch over my eye with my glasses on top of it. Each day she would decorate the patch with a design using markers or I could choose a/some stickers to put on it for the day. Apparently other kids at school went home to tell their parents that they wanted a patch too. So I guess it worked well.

I think you really need to be consistent. If the dr's have recommended patching then she probably really does need to strengthen that lazy eye. Sure I didn't like it as a kid. I could barely see! But now that I'm 30 I am glad to have eyesight in both eyes, even if that lazy eye is weaker. Who knows if it'd be even worse if I hadn't worn the patch consistently.

Oh and my mom says that what I really wanted was "glitter nail polish" so after wearing my patch for the year/month (I don't remember which) she took me to the store and bought me whichever nail polish I wanted. So find what your daugther really wants and let her have it if she wears her patch as she's told to.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My 8yr old used an over the glasses patch that covered around the sides, bottom and top so he couldn't look around it. He wore his 3hrs a day for 6mos, then again a few months later for 6mos.

Our daughter also has a crossed/lazy eye, and right now we are not doing patching because correction with glasses seems to work for her. But if it stops working or she needs patching I would not hesitate to use the over the glasses one again. Just make sure its a fabric one that covers the sides and top/bottom so she can't look around it.

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answers from Kansas City on

It was a long time ago, but when I was in kindergarten I had to wear a patch that went over my glasses. I remember thinking it was pretty cool, as I had a few different ones with different designs on them such as flowers and rainbows and things. I don't remember it being uncomfortable at all, and my mom never said I had any problems with it.

1 mom found this helpful
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