Hawaii mom gets crafty to help kids with vision conditions
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Eye patches are a needed treatment tool for children trying to correct vision problems.
When a Big Island mom couldn’t find any for her daughter, she created her own, and she’s now trying to help others.
Eight years ago, Paige Brattin’s daughter Eddy was diagnosed with a severe vision condition that threatened her eyesight.
She was suffering from Amblyopia.
“Her initial acuity was 20/450, 20/200 is legally blind. She was over double that,” Paige Brattin said.
Amblyopia affects one out of every 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 it’s treatable,” Paige said. “They treat it by covering the stronger eye so that the weaker eye has to work harder to develop 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But Paige says the only occlusion eye patches available when her daughter needed them were outdated, so she decided to design her own.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, she put her patches on the market and named her company See Worthy.
“We changed the adhesives, the materials, we even changed the shape so it fits the actual eye socket better,” she said.
Paige’s patches appeal to kids because of their creative and colorful designs.
She says that’s important for youngsters who have to wear an eye patch every day to correct their vision.
“I think trying to make anything fun for a child who’s going through a treatment that’s difficult helps,” Paige said.
Paige sells her patches through Amazon and her company website. But she’s taken it a step further.
Families who can’t afford it can get her patches for free through Project Vision Hawaii.
“We want to make sure that every keiki has the opportunity to see, because if you can’t see you can’t read,” Paige said.
Paige has become an advocate for families dealing with Amblyopia.
She’s now trying to convince medical insurance companies in Hawaii to cover the cost of eye patches for children who suffer from the vision problem.
“This is the only way to treat the leading cause of childhood blindness, yet it’s 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 mom’s creatively designed eye patches helped her get through the seven years it took to correct her vison.
To find out more about See Worthy eye patches, click here.
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