An eye patch is a piece of material that covers a single eye. They are used primarily with children to treat amblyopia, also known in layman’s terms as lazy eye, however, can also be used to aid people with other optical issues, such as double vision.
There are two main types of the eye patch. There are disposable ones, which are usually made of a synthetic material, and stuck onto the area around the eye with an adhesive. These are typically made by a medical or pharmaceutical company in bulk. The other type is the reusable kind, generally made of cloth or fabric. These are usually made to fit onto or underneath glasses. Because of how nice eye patches are, these are often handmade as there is not enough demand to justify mass production.
Where to buy eye patches
Because eye patches are so specialized, it can be relatively difficult to source them.
The disposable ones are mass produced, and may be given to you directly by your optometrist, or your optometrist may offer you a prescription or recommendation for a particular pharmacist. Unfortunately, most general pharmacies such as Boots are unlikely to have them, so unless you know precisely that a place does stock them, you should not expect them to.
The re-usable ones are mostly individually made, and this combined with their specialist nature means that there are virtually no physical locations where they can be brought, except for specialist eye centres.
Both types can be found on the internet, however. If you search ‘eye patch’ you will come up with a list of individual stockists, usually small businesses, where you can order them from. If you search “eye patch” you should assume that a majority of the results are referring to the reusable type. If you especially wish for the disposable type, then you should search for ‘disposable eye patch’ instead. Large general online shops such as Amazon will offer both types.
Eye patches can often be confused with eye masks, also known as sleep masks, despite the fact that the two are very different. Eye masks, unlike eye patches, are worn while the person is asleep, and they cover both eyes instead of just one. They are sometimes used to treat sleep disorders, or simply to help somebody have a good night’s sleep.
Eye masks are designed to block out all light and, like eye patches, also come in two main types. The first is made of a piece of fabric like cotton or, in some of the more exotic cases, silk, while the other kind consists of a gel wrapped in plastic.
Where to buy eye masks
Unlike eye patches eye masks are quite easy to obtain, and they can be found in most pharmacies, accessory shops, and even some general stores or supermarkets both online and offline. There will be plenty of choices, however, if you are specifically looking for a gel eye mask online you should specify. Otherwise, most of the results will be of the fabric kind.