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Focusing on Eye Patches

Lazy eyes are pretty common, and are also fairly simple to treat. A lazy eye develops when the brain turns off or suppresses vision in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if a child isn't able to see properly through one eye due to a large difference in the prescription between the two eyes or  when strabismus (crossed eyes) is present.  It can also occur when something obstructs light from entering the eye such as a congenital cataract.  Working in conjunction with corrective glasses, one of the treatment options is putting an eye patch on your child's eye for a number of hours per day to boost vision in the lazy eye. But how does patching really remedy the problem? Basically, wearing an eye patch helps your brain to better interact with the weaker eye, which, over time, will help that eye get stronger.

Many parents have trouble fitting their children with eye patches, particularly when they're quite young. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It's a tricky notion- your child must cover their eye to better their weaker eye, but not being able to see well is precisely the thing that makes patching so hard. There are a few methods that make eye patches a bit more fun for kids to wear. With preschool-aged kids, you may find success by using a reward chart with stickers. Patch manufacturers are aware of your plight; patches are available in lots of patterns and colors that kids will love. Let your child be a part of the process and make it fun by giving them the opportunity to choose their patch every day and then putting a sticker on the chart when the patch is properly worn.   Often, a good incentive for the child is allowing favorite video games to be played ONLY when the patch is worn.   Other fun activities that require good hand-eye coordination, will also stimulate and strengthen the amblyopic eye.     

There are special patches available that are cloth based, not adhesive, with fun patterns that the child can enjoy.  Patches are a great solution to lazy eyes and can be really effective, but it really requires your child's assistance and your ability to remain focused on the long-term goal of improving your child's vision.

Thank you for trusting your eyecare with us over the years.  The Foresight Eyecare team follows the government mandate to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  After December 2020 announcements made by the Alberta Government, our clinic is following the revised Infection Prevention and Control policy by the Alberta College of Optometrists.

Patients interested in obtaining eye exam services or eye care products can be seen by appointment only.  Please call ahead, and staff will arrange an appointment time and ask COVID-19 screening questions.  If you have any symptoms of cough, fever, runny nose or shortness of breath, we ask that you call or e-mail us and do not attend the clinic for your scheduled visit.   Within the clinic, please wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer at reception.  Our clinic complies with the City of Calgary bylaw requiring mask covering over the age of two years old.  For patients who are unable to wear a face covering due to medical reasons, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment at a time when minimal number of other patients are in the clinic such as at the beginning or end of the day to ensure appropriate physical distancing requirements.

We are using disposable disinfectant wipes on all surfaces and devices such as front desk counters, chairs, handles in exam rooms and waiting room.  All eyewear that have been touched by patients are continually being sanitized.   Any toys and magazines are stored at this time.  Examination areas are being sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant.  Debit and credit cards but NO CASH payments will be accepted.

COVID-19 symptoms are not always obvious.  We want to fend off this pandemic and minimize risk to our patients and the Foresight staff as front line health workers.   Contact that is closer than 2 m (6 feet) is to be avoided, with barriers in place when this cannot be avoided. We choose to continue to do our work and cautiously take care of our patients with compassion, humility, gentleness, and patience.   It is a challenging and new experience for many of us, so let‘s support each other and prevent virus spread!  Beyond 2020, our focus is on take care of you and keeping Clean Hands, Clear Heads and Open Hearts.   For more information, please refer to the following web pages or phone Health Link 811.

Drs. Dianna Leong, Anh Bui, Andrew Chan