Children do not need to wear a patch all day

September 20, 2007

There is no need for children with lazy eye to wear an eye patch for the whole day, in order to correct their vision, according to report published online by the British Medical Journal.

There is no need for children with lazy eye to wear an eye patch for the whole day, in order to correct their vision, according to report published online by the British Medical Journal.

Catherine Stewart and colleagues from City University, London, UK and McGill University, Montreal, Canada enrolled 80 children with amblyopia associated with strabismus, anisometropia or both, to wear glasses for 18 weeks followed by occlusion prescribed patching for either six (n=40) or 12 (n=40) hours a day.

The mean change in visual acuity (VA) was not significantly different between the two groups (p=0.64). The mean dose rates were also not significantly different (p=0.06). Visual outcomes were similar in children receiving patching three to six hours a day or more than six to 12 hours a day, but significantly better than in children who received less than three hours a day. Children aged four years or younger, required significantly less occlusion than older children and the visual outcome was not influenced by type of amblyopia.

The authors concluded that substantial (six hours a day) and maximal (12 hours) prescribed occlusion results in similar visual outcomes, suggesting that children do not need to wear the patch for a whole day in order to correct their vision.