An eyepatch is a small patch that is worn in front of one eye. It may be a cloth patch attached around the head by an elastic band or by a string, or an adhesive bandage. It is often worn by people to cover a lost or injured eye, but it also has a therapeutic use in children for the treatment of amblyopia (lazy eye). (See orthoptics and vision therapy.)
In the years before advanced medicine and surgery, eyepatches were common. They were particularly prevalent among members of dangerous occupations, such as pirates and blacksmiths. Today, with prosthetic eyes increasingly accessible, eyepatches are no longer common.
Eye patches may have had a more practical purpose for sailors and pilots. According to the myth, sailors (stereotyped by the eye-patch-wearing pirate) who often went above and below deck, used eye patches to have one eye adjusted for the top deck and the other eye already adjusted for the darkness when suddenly going below deck. The strong sunlight whil