Have you seen pictures of this baby wearing her great eye patches on the Internet? LOOK’s Office Manager, Jennifer, also wore an eye patch as a child as she suffers with Amblyopia (lazy eye).
Amblyopia usually starts when one eye has much better focus than the other eye. When the brain is confronted with both a blurry image and a clear one, it begins to ignore the blurry image. If this goes on for months or years in a young child, the vision in the eye that sees the blurry image will deteriorate.
In severe cases of amblyopia, after any underlying medical problems in the “bad” eye are corrected, a patch is placed over the “good” eye. The patch forces the brain to use the “bad” eye, which will improve vision in that eye. It can take weeks or months of a strict patch wearing schedule for vision improvement. Once vision improvement is achieved, the patch will not have to be worn; however, relapses can occur.
In cases of mild amblyopia, an eye drop called atropine can be used in the “good” eye instead of a patch. Atropine dilates the pupil and blurs the vision in the “good” eye, forcing the “bad” eye to do most of the work.