My 18 Month Old Has a Lazy Eye, Any Tips or Suggestions Would Be Helpful.

Updated on January 25, 2007
M.H. asks from Newton, NC
12 answers

My 18 month old has a lazy eye, how do you keep a patch on a very active baby? She hates wearing hats and anytime we put a pair of sunglasses on her she jerks them right off. Any suggestions or tips would be very greatful!!

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N.B.

answers from Columbia on

may sound silly, but toddlers like silly stuff: find some cartoons like Dora or backyardigans that have pirates in them. this may make it more of a game than a bother for her.

also, have you considered vision therapy. try this site http://www.covd.org/
many behavioral optometrists work with toddlers.

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S.J.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi M.,
I have a 8 year old that has had glasses since he was 18 months with his lazy eye. It runs in my family. Unfortuately the doc I saw when he was younger told me that he'd grow out of it, no need to worry. Once his doc was in, he sent me right to a ped specialist. Do you have one hre in NC? if not I can reccommend one.
As for the patching,, they have band-aid type patches that she would ahve a very hard time taking off, and once she gets used to them, you can move on to regular patches. A way to make it a bit easier could be to make it a game,, pretend, or even put one on yourself. it might be a bit more fun for her. Also on a side note, do be very vigilant to the patching, it will make life much easier. the younger the better!
S. AKA [email protected]____.com

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Y.M.

answers from Richmond on

When I was a little girl, I also had a lazy eye. I remember my mom taking me to this Doctor who made me do little exercises that helped my eyes learn to work together. One was taking my finger and holding it up to my nose, then straightening my arm out while following the finger. If you try it you will see that it does work, I had to do that and other exercises daily and I no longer have the lazy eye now. I did wear the patch and all that too, but I vividly remember the exercises helping. I kow this would be difficult with an 18 mo old, but you can try it and make it into a peek a boo type game or something, she wont know you are doing it for a reason.. and it will help her eyes.

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V.M.

answers from York on

My Daughter was the same way and your right it was a challenge at 18 monthes to get them to keep the patch on. I tried to get her into pirate play and video and pretended to wear the patch and then had her try it. It worked for a little while eack day we had pirate time the best thing to do to try to trick her is to put it on her when she is sleeping. This was the way that worked the best for her and it stayed on for about 2 hours most of the time.
Otherwise my Dr. said after expressing my concern to just leave it be and we just kept an I on things she still has a bit of a lazy look when she smiles or is really tired but nothing that affected her looks or vision. There is a surgury that was sudgested if it got worse but we didn't have to go that route....
Good Luck and be patience.
Val

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S.T.

answers from Greensboro on

I agree with another reply about your dr. It's always good to get a second opinion. My daughter started wearing glasses at 10 months!! Everyone asks how do you get her to wear her glasses? It was always very simple she chose to wear them because she could finally see!! We see a dr in greensboro.

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T.C.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

Has the eye doctor confirmed that she truly has a lazy eye? I'm not questioning your doctor competence, but my son has what looks like a lazy eye but it is actually a condition called esotropia, where he uses each eye to focus differently. One eye focuses up close and the other far away. It looks like his eyes are lazy, because one or the other will drift off when he is looking at something. He wore glasses for a year, and when I took him to a different doctor, he took away the glasses and started him on special eye exercises to train his eyes to focus togehter correctly. He wears an eye patch during the exercises. It has been difficult for him to do them, especially because one eye is worse than the other, and he thinks the patch looks bad. I have tried different ways to get him to keep the patch on. I try to make it seem not so bad by telling him he looks like a cool pirate, and I even bought him some books about pirates. I have also gone online to show him other kids wearing. That has seemed to work. I don't know how long your child has been wearing the patch, but I think she will get used to it eventually. It's important to not get angry or frustrated with her, even though I know that can be hard. Just remember that she is probably feeling angry and frustrated too, and giving her constant reassurance that the patch will make her see better should make her feel better. I hope things work out for you and your daughter. BTW does the doctor have her doing any exercises to train her eye? Exercises have worked wonders on my son's eyes, even though it's only been a few months.

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S.B.

answers from Charlotte on

We had to patch our daughter's eye around the same age. She actually had glasses first, which obviously wasn't going to work, so we bought adhesive patches. They looked just like huge band-aids. We bought a bunch of stickers and let her pick out the ones she wanted to put on her patch that day. We would also play her favorite song and sing so that she was kind of distracted while trying to stick the patch on. She would continue through out her day as if it wasn't there. You both just kind of get used to it as it becomes a part of your routine. If you put milk of magnesia around the eye and let it dry completely before placing the patch on it will help reduce irritation and come off easier. I hope this will help you out...BEST WISHES!

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J.M.

answers from Charlotte on

I used to baby-sit a little girl who had a lazy eye her parents didn't treat it in time and she wound up needing glasses when she was only 2 1/2 b/c it would cross. But I would defiitely try using one with an adhesive on it or one that you tape on. I've heard people say that with their kids they had them decorate it with whatever they wanted on it and they wore it more. I'm not sure that would help with an 18 month old but it could be worth a shot. And I also agree with the person who said check with an eye dr. to make sure it's a lazy eye, my brother looks like he has a lazy eye but it's just a birth defect he was born without a brow bone over that eye. Good luck and I hope these suggestions help.

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L.S.

answers from Charleston on

My daughter had on when she was younger. She is almost 3 and now you can't tel. I was also told to put a patch on the eye that is not lazy for a few hours of the day and it could help.

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R.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi M.... I had a lazy eye (ambliopia) as a child, but mine actually wasn't diagnosed until I was two. I had to start wearing glasses, which I hated, and wore more than my share of eye patches... one thing my mom did that made me not mind wearing them so much was to draw a pretty picture on the patch, or color it. Then, once the patch was on, she'd show me how pretty it looked over the eye. It worked! I don't know if it would work on an 18 month old, but kids do love to see themselves... Best of luck to you (both of my eyes are straight now :))

~R.

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C.C.

answers from Macon on

My daughter wears glasses because one of her eyes goes inward. She is three now, but started wearing them at 2. She does pull them off sometimes, but not as much now as in the beginning. They say that with the patch, once the baby sees they can see better they leave it alone. I wouldnt worry about it, if she takes it off just put it right back on. She will get the point after a while. Good luck.

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S.J.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi M.,

I work for an Optometrist and believe me, we see lazy eye alot. I know it is hard to patch the eye of an 18 month old, but, if it is left untreated, it will cause alot of problems when they get older. We had an 8 yr. old in the other day that has lazy eye that was never treated, and he has little to no vision out of the lazy eye.
The adhesive ocular patches are the best way to go. That is usually what we use in small children. They are like bandaids that work as an eye patch.
Best of luck to you and your little one.

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