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. "(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 sailors and blacksmiths. David Bowie made it a fashion statement in 1972. Today, with prosthetic eyes increasingly accessible, eyepatches are no longer common.


Eye patches may have had a more practical purpose for sailors and pilots. 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 while above deck on an oceangoing vessel could require minutes of adjustment to the dim lighting below deck. With virtually no light sources below deck, sailors would have to rely heavily upon their eyes to adjust. In the critical moments of modifying the rigging, navigating, and especially during battle, those minutes were too precious. A simple switch of the patch from one eye to the other saved time and was more convenient than being temporarily blinded when going between decks. This was deemed plausible on the January 17, 2007 episode of "MythBusters".


Similarly, pilots at one time would also do the same, when flying at night over brightly lit cities, so that one eye could look out, and the other would be adjusted for the dim lighting of the cockpit to read unlit instruments and maps. When flashlights with red bulbs, backlit instruments, and other modern instruments came along, that no longer was necessary, just as boats and ships evolving into being well lit made eye patches a thing of the past.

Some military pilots have worn a lead-lined or gold-lined eyepatch, to protect against blindness in both eyes, in the event of a nuclear blast or laser weapon attack. [ [http://www.flightgear.dk/flash.htm Nuclear flash eye protection, Steen Hartov] ] [ [http://www.lesfrazier.com/labs.htm Les Frazier] ] [ [http://hotmedicalnews.com/laser_weapons.php Laser Weapons] ]


Eye patching is used in management of children at risk of amblyopia (lazy eye), especially strabismic or anisometropic amblyopia. These conditions can cause visual suppression of the dissimilar images by the brain, resulting in blindness in an otherwise functional eye. By patching the good eye, the amblyopic eye is forced to function, causing vision to be retained.

Famous eyepatch-wearers

* Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah (Arab pirate)
* Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov (Russian Field Marshal)
* Moshe Dayan (Israeli military leader and politician)
* Jan Zizka (Czech general and Hussite leader)
* Jan Syrový (Czechoslovak general and polictian)
* Bushwick Bill (Rap singer with the Ghetto Boys)
* Gabrielle
* Momus
* John Ford
* Raoul Walsh
* André De Toth
* James Joyce (he was known to wear one even though he never lost an eye)
* Wiley Post
* Andrew Vachss
* Slick Rick
* Yagyu Jubei
* Dale Chihuly
* Date Masamune
* Mother Angelica
* Tegan Quin (of Tegan and Sara)
* Xiahou Dun
* José Millán Astray
* Jamey Sheridan (temporarily, during treatment for Bell's palsy)
* Ray Sawyer, lead vocalist for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show
* Claus von Stauffenberg
* Rich Williams, Kansas Kansas guitarist
* Sammy Davis Jr. (singer, entertainer, member of the infamous "Rat Pack", lost eye in an auto accident 1954)
* Nivek Ogre, singer of Skinny Puppy
* David Bowie (British singer)
* Pete Burns (Leader sing of British New Wave band, Dead or Alive)
* Ron Hamilton
* Victor Page
* Barbara Boggs Sigmund
* Dick Curless
* Jean-Marie Le Pen (French far-right politician, lost his left eye in a brawl)
* GX Jupitter-Larsen (Noise Musician/The Haters)
* Bobby Helms
* Joao Stotz

Fictional eyepatch-wearers

* Miss Astrid, from the burlesque show The Va Va Voom Room (actrss Katherine Valentine)
* Antoine, an Agent of the Upright Citizens Brigade
* Lockon Stratos, Gundam pilot from Gundam 00
* Snake Plissken ("Escape from New York" and "Escape from L.A." protagonist)
* Deathstroke A fictional character, a supervillain and sometime anti-hero in the DC Comics Universe.
* Jesse Custer ("Preacher" main character)
* Man from Estwyck - Survivor of a Wendol attack in the movie "The 13th Warrior"
* Nao Yuuki manga/anime character from My-HiME
* Lucia Nahashi manga/anime character from Venus Versus Virus
* Captain Harlock manga/anime character appearing in various works by Leiji Matsumoto
* Hortense Toomey (Earthly Powers sister of main character)
* Natsuo Sagan (Loveless (manga))
* The Wicked Witch of the West (Land of Oz villain)
* Demian Martinez Guerra (Mundo de Fieras villain)
* Bazooka Joe (Bazooka (chewing gum) comic strip main character)
* Beatrix ("Final Fantasy IX" character)
* Captain Pip Bernadette of the Hellsing manga
* Big Boss, aka Naked Snake (a central character in the "Metal Gear" series)
* Sally Brown in "Peanuts" wore one to treat amblyopia.
* Fuhrer King Bradley ("Fullmetal Alchemist" character)
* General Chang (played by Christopher Plummer in "Star Trek VI")
* Gotrek Gurnisson (Protagonist of the Gotrek and Felix novels by William King and Nathan Long, set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe)
* Rooster Cogburn (played by John Wayne in "True Grit" and "Rooster Cogburn")
* Captain Francesca 'Franky' Cook (played by Angelina Jolie in "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow")
* Fancy Crane ("Passions"; following a 2006 eye injury)
* Dalton ("Chrono Trigger")
* Dangermouse
* Chihiro ("")
* Dee ("Preacher" character)
* Elle Driver ("Kill Bill" villainess)
* Nick Fury (Marvel Comics superhero)
* Monica Geller ("Friends", "The One with Chandler in a Box")
* Gippal ("Final Fantasy X-2" character)
* The "Man in the Hathaway Shirt" (advertising campaign of the 1950s)
* "Wildcat" Chris Harris (currently wearing an eyepatch in kayfabe as part of his character in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling)
* Jarlaxle (Forgotten Realms dark elf rogue)
* Steve "Patch" Johnson ("Days of our Lives")
* Katsuichi ("Usagi Yojimbo" character)
* Deunan Knute ("Appleseed" Main Character)
* Emilio Largo (James Bond villain)
* Mikhail Bakunin (A character on the TV show "Lost")
* Zakuro Mitsukai ("Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan")
* Wolf O'Donnell ("Star Fox" villain)
* Patchy the Pirate ("SpongeBob SquarePants")
* Seamus ("Family Guy" character)
* Random Hero ( character)
* Lavi (D.Gray-man character)
* Commander Red ("Dragon Ball" character)
* Yagyu Retsudo ("Lone Wolf and Cub" main villain)
* Sagat ("Street Fighter" character)
* Saito ("Ghost in the Shell" character)
* Ramon ("King of Fighters" character)
* Phil Ken Sebben ("Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law" character)
* Piotr Skut – Estonian aeroplane pilot in "The Adventures of Tintin"
* Solidus Snake ("" antagonist)
* Lans Tartare (Tactics Ogre villain)
* Big Dan Teague ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?" character)
* Col. Saul Tigh (Battlestar Galactica (2004 TV series))
* Captain Typho (Star Wars character)
* Umanosuke ("Samurai Champloo" character)
* Akito/Agito Wanijima (from "Air Gear")
* Xigbar ("Kingdom Hearts II")
* Kenpachi Zaraki ("Bleach" character)
* Nnoitra Jiruga ("Bleach" character)
* Zatch ("Surf Ninjas" Character)
* Molotov Cocktease and Master Billy Quizboy (from "The Venture Bros.")
* Number Two (Austin Powers movies)
* Captain Ron (Kurt Russell in the movie Captain Ron)
* Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
* Rose Wilson,Ravager (Teen Titans)
* Takuma Fudo (GetbackerS)
* Commandant Spangler (Malcolm in the Middle)
* Sven Vollfied from Black Cat
* Matthew from The Law of Ueki
* Nadine Hurley (Twin Peaks)
* Vernon Schillinger "Oz" (TV series)
* Lily Charles from Pushing Daisies
* Halloween Jack (David Bowie alter ego)
* Barasuisho ( Rozen Maiden Träumend )
* Kirakishou ( Rozen Maiden Träumend )
* Hatake Kakashi (Naruto Manga)
* Russel (Happy Tree Friends)
* Fay D. Flourite (from "")
* Shin Natsume (Tenjho Tenge)
* Zegram from "Rogue Galaxy"*
* Matthew Taylor "Shoegazing musician"*
* Solid Snake in "" (note that this eyepatch was a cybernetic surveillance and data processing tool, not a necessity; Snake still had two functioning eyes, and could remove the eyepatch at will)
*Ryomou Shimei in Ikki Tousen
*Mio Sakamoto in Strike Witches


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