Monday, January 24, 2011

The Sticky Patch - Help Article!

I receive a lot of emails and pleas for HELP from parents on the topic of adhesive patches. The biggest 'problem' tends to be with how adhesive patches are so rough on our children's tender skin.  Having patched with adhesives, this is something that I can respond to from the Been There and Done that school of knowledge. 


Yes, my daughter has had her eyebrows and lashes yanked out and the skin pulled raw from peeling off 'easy peel' patches that are essentially band-aids. It is not fun at all.  My daughter has super senstive skin and many adhesive patches we used were so incredbly harsh.

All Patches are not created Equal.
First, I will say that if you are using adhesive patches they are not all created 'equal'.  Just like kids band-aids there are some that fall off, some that come off easy, and some that hurt!   The patches that stayed on well and didn't hurt when coming off - making them acceptable for use on my daughter's tender skin were the Krafty Eye Patches and the Ortopad Elite patches.  The other brands we tried like Fresnel (MYI) and CVS Nexxcare were too sticky or abrasive. 

Keep it Clean
In terms of making sure a patch will stick and stay stuck, it is essential that the skin be clean and free of any moisturizer, sunscreen, or sweat.  Before applying a patch, simply clean the area around the eye with a babywipe or gentle washcloth - it makes a world of difference for the patch staying on and in place. And in the long run it will also save you money because you aren't having to toss and put on another patch partway through the day.   Also, in a pinch you can stick the patch onto a clean slick surface and re-use it later in the day if you need to take it off for any reason.

Products that COULD help cut the Ouch!
When we first started using adhesive patches I received a suggestion to put a little bit of MOM - Milk of Magnesia under the patch.    A lot of moms stand by this home remedy and claim that it works.  Unfortunately, my daughter had an allergic reaction to the Milk Of Magnesia - so that bombed for us.  However, if it works for you it can be a lifesaver.

In the medical field, those patients who require frequent bandaging use a product called Cavilon Adhesive Barrier.  I saw it being sold on the Fresnel Prism (MYI patches) site - and considering that their patches are super super sticky I can see why this adhesive barrier film might be needed.  However, had I sticker shock when I saw that they were selling a box of 25 swabs for $50. As if the price of adhesive patches isn't enough!  The good news is that you don't have to pay even close to that price. The same box of 25 can be purchased online for under $20.  It comes in swabs, wipes or a spray. I wouldn't suggest using the spray (to avoid getting it in your eye)  unless you first sprayed it onto a cottonball.  Many claim huge success with Cavilon No-Sting as well.  Given that my daughter has such sensitive skin, I haven't tried it. 

We prefer to use gentle patches that don't require 'harsh' or extra products.

Consider Cloth!
Know that cloth patches are also an option if your child wears glasses.

With cloth patches it is very important to know that your child isn't able to peek and that the patch you are using offers full occlusion.  My daughter has a stash of cloth patches and some do better than others at being peek-proof.  My daughter knows that if she is caught peeking, that I will "double patch" her - which means I put an adhesive patch under the cloth patch.  She prefers the look of the cloth patch over the adhesives, so if she chooses a patch that she can peek with - she might get double duty that day.   The cloth patch that I know for a fact offers 100 percent peek-proof occlusion is Framehuggers patch.  I know without a doubt when she is wearing the framehuggers, she's got it covered and no adhesive is needed.

Do you have any tips? Please feel free to share them in comments!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Danger lies Ahead - Nintendo 3DS can harm kids eyes

I've sung the praises about the Nintendo DS and how playing it can be a big help for kids like mine, who have amblyopia (lazy eye) and vision issues.   One of my daughter's approved patching activities is playing on her DS and she loves to play it and it really works her eyes as well as hand/eye coordination.   

However, danger lies ahead. 

 Sigh.. It seems everything is heading the way of 3D. First it was something we love to do as a family - going to the movies. Now, we are hard pressed to find a kids movie that is not being shown in 3D.  For a child with amblyopia who cannot process 3D images 'correctly' the extra fee for 3D movies plus the hassle of the 3D glasses is a huge letdown and exercise in frustration, not to mention a waste of money.    Then it was bigscreen TVs offering 3D viewing at home.  How much is too much?  The warnings alone on these 3D TV's are quite scary yet many will pay the high price to bring 3D viewing experience home.  We won't be.

And now - kids gaming goes 3D with the new Nintendo 3Ds which will be released in March 2011.  Optometrists are warning that its use could harm children's vision and actually result in crossing of the eyes, squint and lazy eye. In particular, children with developing vision (under age 6) are included in a product warning to not use the device for 3D games - this is listed in a direct warning from Nintendo themselves in response to concerns that were raised about the product.   They also suggest all users of the 3D platform take at least a 5 minute break for every hour of 3D gameplay.   But are these warnings enough? 

Read on to learn how the 3DS works and is cause for concern...

Related Links:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Krafty Eye Patches Winter Sale

Here's a code for you to save on adhesive patches and patch kraft kits!   Krafty Eye Patches is having a winter sale :)

Use code: Winter15
15% off ALL products
Expires 1/31/11

If you haven't tried Krafty Eye Patches - check out our review of these fun and non-toxic patches "craft kits".

Amblyopia Progress Report

Last weekend Belle went in for her 6 week re-check. She had made progress at her November appointment  and I remained hopeful that she would continue on that path.   But, Belle was nervous.

As I tucked her into bed for the days before her appointment she would tell me, "Mom - how come I can't be like the rest of the family and ONLY wear glasses?".   I choked back tears. I get it. Patching is wearing on her. It is getting old.  I feel it too.   

Yet, through it all she wears it each and every day  and 'gets her hours in'.  She rarely complains and she just does it.  Most days she goes and gets her patch by herself after school without reminder or nagging.  Gone are the days of having to bribe her to wear the patch - instead she just "goes through the motions" each and every day.

And her hard work continues to show! At her visit she once again made progress.  We get to reduce our patching slightly - now down to 4 hours a day. Belle was over the moon about this (and me as well). It is still quite a bit of time each day, but now she can get home from school (AM Kindergarten), patch and be done by the time her brother is off of the schoolbus at 4pm.

One more hour of Freedom. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Natural Muse: Lazy Eye in Kids - Patch, Pressure and Pins

There's been a lot of talk lately about accupuncture as a treatment option for amblyopia.

I'm sharing this excellent article written over at The Natural Muse on natural treatment of amblyopia. The author had amblyopia as a child which makes for an insightful perspective.