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How long will I need to patch?

The amount of patching therapy required is different for every child.  In general, the younger the child and the earlier treatment is started, the less time it will take for the vision to improve. Some forms of amblyopia can be more severe and difficult to treat than others.

Your doctor may prescribe the patch to be worn full-time or for a certain number of hours a day. After vision has improved and stabilized in the lazy eye, patching is often continued and tapered slowly to prevent relapse. Worsening of vision can occur after patching is discontinued, which makes it important to have the vision checked regularly during and after treatment.

Some people recommend detailed or near work while wearing the patch to encourage use of the lazy eye and speed visual recovery. The best exercise, though, is wearing the patch! If the vision in the weak eye is extremely poor, it is important to supervise your child’s activities while being patched. Playing outside near streets or driveways is not recommended.

Unfortunately, not all children’s vision improves after a reasonable period of compliant patching and your doctor may eventually advise to stop treatment.

©2008 Riecke, OC(C). This was reprinted with the permission of Jillian Riecke, CO.