A call for patching advice!

Ann has created such a great resource for parents just starting out with glasses, I would love to create a similar resource for parents just starting out with patches.  Although we have been patching for almost 2 years and now for 10 hours each day, I don’t have all the answers and I would like your help for coming up with advice for parents just starting out with patching.

How to begin

Keeping the patch on

Finding the right patch

How to stay positive

Other people’s reactions

Pictures of your kids with their patch on!

Please post as much as you can below or send me an e-mail at ajrenchin@yahoo.com and I will begin to compile all the parent advice into one post!!!!!

Thanks for your help!

5 responses to “A call for patching advice!

  1. YES please. I think it would be a great topic to include in the post and I would welcome your thoughts and information!!!!


  2. Starting out – Mia has a unilateral cataract that was removed when she was 1 month old. Since her aphakic (without a lens) eye has never processed images she has to patch her good eye to help strengthen her aphakic eye. We began patching Mia when she was almost 2 months old. We began patching her for 1 hour for each month of life, 1 hour at 1 month old, 2 hours at 2 months old, etc. Once Mia reached 8 months old we began patching her for half of her waking hours everyday, or all waking hours every other day. Since Mia’s eye never processed images, atropine drops were not an option for us, her eye had to be completely occluded.

    Problems with patching – Mia hated patching from the beginning, she would cry and try to rub the patch off. When Mia turned 3 months old she figured out how to remove her patch, we were using Orthopad patches and they are not very sticky. When Mia would cry, the patch would get wet making it very easy to rub off. As Mia’s patching time increased , she became more and more crafty at removing her patch. We tried more adhesive patches and she would scream and cry for the entire 4-5 hours she was being patched. She was also able to remove these patches, however it was tearing her skin leaving a rash around her eye. We also noticed that these patches were beginning to remove her eyebrow. At this point we were at our wits end and we were requesting the black occlusion lens from her PO. She asked that we try placing used paper towel rolls on her arms as makeshift splints. Well I refused to use restraints on my daughter, we were already worried that her visual impairment would delay her motor skills, and placing restraints on her arms preventing her from crawling or pulling herself up was not something we were open to. We felt that there were other tools available that we should try first. Our daughter’s vision is our top priority, however her development is also a top priority, why not try the occlusion lens before moving on to arm restraints. After relentless nagging, she finally approved the occlusion lens. When Mia was 7 months old we began using the occlusion lens and it was a miracle, Mia does so fabulous with her black lens, she does not try to remove her lens and we are able to patch her eye for several consecutive hours, which we were never able to accomplish.

    The occlusion lens – When we first began inserting her contact lens we had a lot of problems, it would take us between 5-10 attempts before we were able to get the lens in her eye. After a lot of practice, and tears, it gets easier and easier. At this point I am able to insert her lens without my husbands assistance. Removing the lens is much easier than inserting the lens. Mia just recently began wearing a regular contact lens because she will not wear her glasses. We are having a lot of problem with this lens. I’m not sure if it’s due to her eye being “steep” from her glaucoma making it more difficult to pinch the contact lens when inserting, however the lens keeps popping out of my fingers.

    Staying positive – I find that your composure and attitude really affects your child’s attitude. If I get stressed out or start to cry, I have to stop and wait until I am calm. Mia really pick up on my emotions, if I am calm then she is calm. I try to sing to her or tickle her while I am inserting her lens to help keep her calm and relaxed. I have cried a lot of tears and have had my good days and bad days. I try to keep an upbeat positive attitude, no matter how upset I get. I remember I got really upset one day, Mia was screaming and I was crying, and my 2 year old son came over and said ’why you crying” and he gave me a big hug and he also hugged Mia and rubbed the top of her head. After that day I try not to let my emotions get the best of me, your children see this and it makes the situation worse.

    Eyes straight – For parents that have children with strabismus, when you patch your child with a regular patch you are unable to see what the other eye is doing since it is covered up. I know I always wondered. Mia currently has exotropia, when she is wearing her occlusion lens her eyes are straight, they both work together. Mia also has nystagmus so her aphakic eye is shaky/wobbly, however it seems to almost stop when she is wearing her occlusion lens.

    Amomofelly – I emailed you pictures of Mia with her patch, occlusion lens and pictures of what her eyes looks like while she is patching and how her eye turns out when she is not patching.

    Please let me know if you need any other information.



  3. All help and advice would be appriciated by me and other parents! We would love your comments all the time!!!!


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