The Patch

Sarah - posted on 01/24/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Has anyone else been frustrated with the whole patching thing? My daughter had the surgery at age 4 and has been wearing glasses since. She is now 6 and her opthamologist wants her to wear a patch 4 hours a day... we haven't been able to make this a consistent routine, mainly because I work full-time and on weekdays, we are only home for 2 hours in the evening before her bedtime. Should she wear the patch at school or at her after-school activities? Would the kids make fun of her? Also, she always manages to slide the patch over a bit so she can see out of that eye... I'm assuming this defeats the whole purpose!

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Rebecca - posted on 01/24/2009

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I read your message in the introduce yourself post, and here's my opinion on all of the above :) ... (and on that msg).. First of all, my son, who's 4 now has to do the patching and when he first put it on, he started crying and said it was "stormy" and tried taking the patch off. I cried but made him keep it on! It's been a few months since we started and now when he puts the patch on, it takes just a little for the eye to adjust, but not near as bad as it was before. So although your daughter might not like how it makes her feel and her not be able to see well, all it will do is HELP her. Something that our dr explained to us that made me understand this all a whole lot better.. The problem with the eyes is that it's a "brain" function and when the eye isn't able to see well, the brain slowly starts shutting off vision to that eye. The whole idea for patching is to make the brain realize that it NEEDS that eye and to not shut off the vision, so if patching isn't done, then it'll get worse. That's why it's so important to make sure patching is done and done now at a young age to prevent them from going blind. (My daughter went from 20/20 vision to legally blind w/in 6 months! we started patching and then had surgery and her vision is fairly well now...)

So, a big long response to say that although it stinks now and she doesn't want to wear the patch, it's worth it! And honestly I think that 4 hours is a long time. I would say once she gets home, have her put the patch on and just leave it on until bedtime. I know how horrible and embarrassing it was for my daughter when she had to wear it in public (she'd go outside and play with it on) and people made fun of her a lot. If there was anything I could do to prevent that, I would!

and YES, moving the patch does defeat the purpose =) So, just make sure to peek in on her now and then to make sure she hasn't moved it!

Wow, I hope this wasn't all confusing or sounded rude or anything :)

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Nicky - posted on 04/30/2010

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My little boy had a patch, he had to wear it 40 hrs a week. Since its such along time he had to wear it at school, his teacher & class mates were amazing. He only had it on in class, morning tea & lunch time he would remove it, you never know what older kids are going to be like. Sad for him it hasn't worked so he is now having eye drops pretty hard work on him & me.

Jenise - posted on 02/01/2009

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My four year old daughter has had to wear her patch for just under a year now. We have to have it on for half of her waking hours each day. The first few months were awful. She is a very determined little girl and quickly learned how to see around the patch (she wiggles her glasses down so that she can see around the patch). I bought a strap for her glasses (the kind that kids were while doing sports) and that helps to keep her glasses in place. It is much easier now but she still tries to see around it. We have figured out that it is easier for her if she wears the patch as soon as she gets up in the morning. Her eyes adjust to it as she is still waking up fully and we have less fights. I know it can be embarrassing in public for a child to wear a patch (the things that some ADULTS say!) but life is so much easier for us now. I hope my story helps a little. Just keep persevering. It is worth it!

Sarah - posted on 01/25/2009

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Thank you!  I'm happy to hear that it does get better... we will definitely work on it because I really want to avoid her having to go through the surgery again.

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