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Children’s party is vision for success

05 June 2018
An annual party held at Cambridge University Hospitals for children with an eye condition has helped them focus on getting better.

Blowing bubbles: children having fun at the 'patch party'Since the party for those with Amblyopia – better known as lazy eye – is showing children they are not alone with the condition and the patches they wear are an important part of the treatment

The event, for two to six-year-olds, was held at the Deakin Centre, adjacent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital on Monday 04 June and attracted ten young guests and their parents.

It was organised by the dedicated team in CUH’s Orthoptic department who say it will act as a networking opportunity for parents to discuss techniques and strategies to ensure the patches are kept on. 

Eve Lacey, an Orthoptist at CUH and organiser of the event, said: “Keeping the patches on for the prescribed period is crucial in preventing blindness in the affected eye, but we all know that it is not easy with children. 

“That is why this event is so beneficial to both children and parents to come together to share ideas and experiences.”

From birth until about the age of eight, a child’s eyes and brain form vital connections and anything that blocks or blurs vision in one or both eyes can cause the lazy eye.

In most cases, children wear a patch over the stronger or unaffected eye for two to six hours a day. Depending on the condition, this can take several months or years.

Lazy eye is the most common cause of visual impairment among children, affecting approximately 2 to 3 out of every 100. Unless it is successfully treated in early childhood, it can persist into adulthood.

Younger children are often unaware that there's anything wrong with their vision and, if they are, they're usually unable to explain what's wrong. Older children may complain that they can't see as well through one eye and have problems with reading, writing and drawing.

In some cases, you may notice that one eye looks different from the other.

For more information about lazy eye visit NHS Choices.