January 29, 2019
Artificial eyes explained:
Artificial eyes or ocular prosthesis/ prosthetic eyes as they are more commonly known are used following events such as orbital exenteration, enucleation and evisceration, where one loses their orbit. They are artificial molds made to look exactly like the human eye, and they sit atop an orbital implant, protecting the implant from the environment. These are basically small concave shaped shell like structures, that are colored and polished to resemble the natural eye, so that there will be no difference between the two.
How do they work?
These artificial eyes are made out of high quality plastic which is resistant to breakage, yet weighs so less that it remains comfortable when worn, and does not look out of place. The exact measurements of your socket will be taken, in order to provide you with a custom fit prosthesis, that has the perfect cosmetic end result as well, because the individuals natural eye color is obtained by using the latest technology in coloring and polishing these prosthesis. These ocular prosthesis are made in such a way that the wearer can easily remove and replace them especially because they have to be routinely cleaned, to get rid of the debris that may be present on their surface.
How should I care for and clean my ocular prosthesis?
- You can easily remove the prosthesis off your eye and ensure that you have area prepared to clean and prevent it from falling into the sink
- You take the prosthesis into the palms of your hand along with a mild soap, such as baby shampoo, and rub them together in your palms, making sure that you have covered all the surfaces and cleaned it well
- Despite doing this if you notice any dirt that remains, use a warm cloth to wipe the surfaces clean
- Once you have done this, make sure you rinse the prosthesis thoroughly before you reinsert it
- You don’t have to wait for the prosthesis to dry out completely before reinsertion, because the moisture that remains on it after rinsing will actually help the process of reinserting it. You might even find it helpful to make use of lubricants such as Sil-Ophtho, Refresh Liquigel or Refresh Optive to aid this process
Despite regular cleaning at home, you will have to visit your ocularist regularly in order to get the prosthesis cleaned and polished properly, in order to maintain the cosmetic appearance and the comfort of the prosthesis. Because with time, the artificial eyes will accumulate dirt and will have abrasions on its surface which end up affecting the quality of it and affects the movement of the prosthesis, making it uncomfortable for the wearer. It ends up causing inflammation of the eye, and may even lead to discharge in severe cases, which can be delirious for the eye socket and the surrounding tissue. Therefore it is imperative that you regularly get it polished and cleaned, in order to avoid complications.
How long will the ocular prosthesis last?
On average the quality of the ocular prosthesis will last around 5-7 years, because with time the acrylic plastic that it is made out if tends to lose its integrity, causing it to slowly break down, which affects the movement of the prosthesis and the comfort of the wearer. And again with time, people may need alterations because the size of their eye socket keeps changing, but these alterations may be done by adjusting the amount of acrylic plastic in the prosthesis, instead of having to replace the entire prosthesis. In children it is recommended that that these adjustments are made more frequently because the size and shape of the socket changes frequently due to their growth.