Works eye patches on adults
Does an eye patch really help against squint in children?
Is an eye patch medically necessary for a cross-eyed child? What if it doesn't want to wear the pirate look?
Why do some squint?
If the eyes look in different directions, one speaks of strabismus. The eye muscles are not working properly. Strabismus can be hereditary, triggered by an uncorrected ametropia, but can also occur after illness or an accident.
Why is strabismus not just a blemish?
For spatial vision, humans need optimal images of both eyes, which the brain combines into a three-dimensional one. If the image delivery does not work properly because of a squinting eye, double images can result. In children, however, this happens less often because their brain simply suppresses the image of the cross-eyed eye. The inactive eye then does not develop normal visual acuity - it becomes weak (amblyopic).
How does the malocclusion show and what should be done?
While special glasses correct the existing ametropia, the so-called occlusion therapy promotes the visually weaker eye. The better, non-squinting eye is covered with an eye patch, but usually with an eye patch or a plaster on the glasses. During this time, the child only sees with the cross-eyed but otherwise healthy eye, which is thus forced to perform better. The visual acuity of the weaker eye can often be significantly improved by the eye patch. Sometimes a squint operation is necessary, in which the eye muscles are repositioned.
What does the eye patch do?
While special glasses correct the existing ametropia, the so-called occlusion therapy promotes the visually weaker eye. The better, non-squinting eye is covered with an eye patch, but usually with an eye patch or a plaster on the glasses. In this way, the child can only see with the cross-eyed but otherwise healthy eye that they are forced to perform better. In addition, orthoptists train the interaction of both eyes with the children in the vision school. Sometimes a squint operation is necessary, in which the eye muscles are repositioned.
How long do you have to wear the eye patch?
The ophthalmologist determines how many hours a day and for how long the child must wear masking plasters or eye patches. This rhythm must be strictly adhered to - by the way, as is the strict wearing of glasses. The therapy can drag on for several years. As a rule, it is completed by the age of twelve at the latest.
What happens if the eye patch is not worn as prescribed?
It is very important to wear the glasses and eye patch or patch exactly as directed. Anyone who cheats and does not wear the eye patch at all or for a shorter period of time than prescribed risks lifelong visual impairment and serious impairment of spatial vision. This can, for example, lead to an increased risk of accidents and limit the choice of occupation. But overzealousness is also harmful, because if the parents perform occlusion therapy for longer than prescribed, the better eye can develop poor eyesight.
Important: The eye patch is primarily intended to improve visual acuity. It does not help directly against strabismus! With good acceptance of glasses and the same visual performance on both sides, the squint angle is often reduced all by itself to a functionally and cosmetically satisfactory level. Parents should discuss with their ophthalmologist whether a child still needs to have a cross-squint operation despite successful eye patch treatment.
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