Patching vs Atropine Drops
Since we have patched for many months and struggled with keeping it on daily, our PO recommended Aptropine drops. The Atropine blurs the near vision in the better-seeing eye and has statistically shown the same improvements in Amblyopia patients. The Pros of the drops is that the children do not have an option to take them off and therefore receive the necessary time strengthening their good eye, The Con is that is a chemical that stings upon placement in the eye. In our hand-out is says “In some children, it is necessary for one adult to hold the child while the other gives the drop.” Others have compared the feeling to how Chlorine would feel if put in your eyes.
I was very nervous about putting eye drops in. We would rather patch, but Elly is so stubborn and opinionated that unless she made the choice to keep them on, we would not be able to patch 6 hours a day every day. My husband and I talked and we decided to be honest and tell Elliana simply what was happening. Her eye is not working and we need to make it stronger. We then gave her a choice. “Do you want to wear a patch all day or put eye drops that hurt in?” She choose Eye Drops.
So, we had her gather her animals and dolly to squeeze, laid her down on the bed and warned her that it will hurt, but that it will be ok soon. My dear husband put the eye drops in and we waited. Elly pointed to her other eye and said. “Put the drops in this eye too.” Ha ha ha – no, only one eye necessary. About 1 minute later, she said “owie, owie, owie” and tried to rub her eyes, but that was it.
I’ve noticed her coordination is off, just like when we patched. We do rice pouring often and have never spilled any on the floor. Today there was rice everywhere. She also seems to loose her balance when she is walking and ran into a couple things already this morning. So that must mean the drop is working.
I still worry (Yes, I am a worrier!) And we will ask her again tomorrow morning which she would like. For now, the drops seam to be the better choice for us.
Did anyone else have this choice? What helped you make the decision? How did your child react?