Why Do We Patch

Why do we patch

A patch is worn on the child's stronger eye to encourage the use of the lazy eye. Your clinician will advise you on the best type of patch to use.


Strabismus or squint is the misalignment of the eyes. The child will use one eye for looking and one eye will wander horizontally and or vertically. Not all children with a strabismus require patching; your Ophthalmic clinician will advise you when it is required.


Lazy eye or amblyopia is decreased vision that results from abnormal visual development in infancy and early childhood. If the child does not receive treatment, vision loss may range from mild to severe. Amblyopia develops when nerve pathways between the brain and the eye aren't properly stimulated, resulting in poor vision due to strabismus or high unilateral refractive error (requiring glasses). As a result the seeing part of the brain favours one eye and the vision is suppressed in the turned eye, or the eye with the high refractive error.

The Ophthalmologist will prescribe a course of patching to the good eye. Patching is to improve the vision, not the eye turn. Amblyopia is most effectively treated before the age of 8yrs and the quantity of patching required varies depending on age and level of vision. An Orthoptist and an Ophthalmologist will work collaboratively investigating and managing children with strabismus and glasses who require patching.


An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor and surgeon who has undertaken additional specialist training in the treatment of eye disorders in adults and children.


An Orthoptist is a Health Professional Allied to Medicine who specialises in eye care. One of the main roles of an Orthoptist is to diagnose and treat children who have amblyopia and to monitor the patching process. He/ She will see the child at regular intervals to assess the vision and advise on the progress of the patching.