The Eye Patch Project
Sunday, March 30 2014
#7 WEARING AN EYE PATCH IS HARD
Children who are eye patching because they have amblyopia not only have to adjust to using one eye, they are also adjusting to using an eye that does not see well. It can really be a struggle for most children, especially at the beginning of their eye patching project. Eye patching can make a generally very happy easy-going child become unhappy and difficult. Knowing this personality change can happen and being prepared is important. Start the first few eye patching sessions when you (the parent) are at your best as well as the child can really cut down on potential conflicts. Being calm, postive and level-headed can prevent struggles and help make those beginning days more pleasant for everyone. Don't start patching when you have had a long day at work or your child is already tired and grumpy. That's a recipe for a battle.
Tuesday, March 11 2014
#6 CREATE A GAME PLAN
Some children will need to wear an eye patch for 2 hours every day, others may be given the task of eye patching all day, every day. Just thinking about eye patching for this amount of time can be very daunting. We suggest taking a deep breath and creating a game plan. Ask yourself questions and then generate answers that will work for you. What activities can my child do while patching? Will that activity be safe if their eye sight is fuzzy? Should I offer a reward for compliant patching? What if my child cries? What if we are only able to patch for 15 minutes? If you do some anticipating and preplanning you may be able to help things go smoother on your first day.
Saturday, March 08 2014
#5 GIVE YOUR CHILD'S EYE PATCH A NICKNAME
At the beginning of your Eye Patch Project there will be a lot of conversations revolving around the word "eye patch". When a child hears the word eye patch they will instantly reach up and touch their eye and pull at it. If your child is young, we suggest that you create a cute little nickname for their eye patch. My daughter called her eye patch a "Kitty Cover". Her eye patch was a Kitten Patch Pal that fit onto her eye glasses. When people talked to her about her Kitten eye patch it was usually to compliment her on how cute it was, so the negative feelings towards her Kitty Cover were never really developed. Of course she still grumbled when we told her to put it on, but it was never because she was embarrassed to wear it.
Thursday, March 06 2014
#4 WHEN SHOULD WE START EYE PATCHING?
Eye patching should start during a time when a parent can spend some quality time with their child. The weekend is usually the best time to begin eye patching. Almost always, the first few hours or days of eye patching will be the most difficult because your child is adjusting to using one eye with poor vision and dealing with the emotional disorientation. Being patient is the key. Plan activities to keep your eye patcher busy and try to steer the focus off of their eye patch.
Wednesday, March 05 2014
#3 FINDING THE RIGHT DOCTOR
It is very important that you understand the different eye specialists when searching for a doctor to treat your child. Of course the names of these doctors all begin with the letter "O" which may cause confusion. An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system, they also focus on the prevention of eye disease and injury. Optometrists diagnose and treat vision problems, eye diseases and related conditions, and prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and medications to treat eye disorders. A dispensing optician fits eyeglasses and, in some states, contact lenses. They analyze and interpret prescriptions written by ophthalmologists or optometrists to determine which eyeglasses or contact lenses are best suited to the patient's lifestyle and visual needs. Orthoptists are key members of a team whose goal is to provide evaluation, understanding, and treatment to children and adults with disorders affecting visual function.
Go to http://patchpals.com/doctors for a more complete definition of each doctor.
Tuesday, March 04 2014
#2 CHOOSE THE BEST EYE PATCH FOR YOUR CHILD
When selecting an eye patch for your child you will need to experiment with a variety of eye patches. Fortunately there are many fun and creative eye patches available now. One option is an adhesive eye patch that is worn like a bandaid over the good eye. Sometimes the skin around the eye patch becomes red and sore, however this style totally blocks vision. A second option is a cloth eye patch that fits onto eye glasses, this too blocks the vision and comes in a variety of colors as well has fun designs. The third option is a Poggle eye patch or a Pirate style eye patch. Both of these eye patches fit directly onto the eye and are secured with straps that wrap around the head, vision is completely block. We suggest trying all three to find the best fit and the most comfortable option for your child.
Monday, March 03 2014
#1 UNDERSTAND THE MEDICAL TERMS
When parents are told that their child needs to wear an eye patch many become dazed and confused. It is unexpected and the medical terms used to describe their child's diagnosis are difficult to pronounce and spell. The eye doctor might create an intimidating, scary tone which can frighten the parents, but it helps them understand the severity of the eye problem. Some parents have left the doctor's office in tears unsure of what just happened. The first thing to do is educate yourself. Call the doctor/nurse back when you get home and have them spell the confusing words, ask more questions and then do your research. We have many of the terms listed at http://www.patchpals.com/terminology