Hawaiian mom gets crafty to help kids with vision problems

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Eye patches are a necessary treatment tool for children trying to correct vision problems.

When a Big Island mom couldn’t find one for her daughter, she created her own and is now trying to help others.

Eight years ago, Paige Brattin’s daughter, Eddy, was diagnosed with a serious eye condition that was threatening her sight.

She suffered from amblyopia.

“Her starting acuity was 20/450, 20/200 is legally blind. It was more than double that,” Paige Brattin said.

Amblyopia affects one in 45 children in the United States and is the leading cause of childhood blindness.

Basically, one eye is weaker than the other.

“The wonderful thing is that it’s treatable,” Paige said. “They treat it by covering the stronger eye so the weaker eye has to work harder to build strength.”

But Paige says the only occlusion eye patches available when her daughter needed them were outdated, so she decided to design her own.

After two years of trial and error, he put his patches on the market and called his company See Worthy.

“We changed the adhesives, the materials, we even changed the shape to better fit the actual eye socket,” he said.

Paige’s patches appeal to children for their creative and colorful designs.

She says that’s important for young people who have to wear an eye patch every day to correct their vision.

“I think trying to do something fun for a child who is going through difficult treatment helps,” Paige said.

Paige sells her patches through Amazon and her company’s website. But she has taken it a step further.

Families who cannot afford it can get their patches for free through Project Vision Hawaii.

“We want to make sure every keiki has a chance to see, because if you can’t see, you can’t read,” Paige said.

Paige has become an advocate for families with amblyopia.

Now he is trying to convince health insurance companies in Hawaii to cover the cost of eye patches for children with vision problems.

“This is the only way to treat the root cause of childhood blindness, but it is not covered by insurance,” Paige said. “The only state in the country that has a program for it is Ohio.”

As for Eddy, wearing her mother’s creatively designed eye patches helped her get through the seven years it took to correct her vision.

For more information on See Worthy eye patches, click here.

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