Frequently Asked Questions:
is an Artificial Eye?
is a prosthetic unit that serves to replace the lost orbital
volume when the living eye is either shrunken or surgically
removed. Its an anterior (front) surface simulates
the companion eye.
can an artificial eye do for me?
can eliminate physical stress caused by facial imbalance
of the eyelids. Artistically, a good matching ocular
prosthesis can lessen the psychological hurt of an eye loss.
I be able to see with this prosthesis?
is not an unusual question. Of course the answer is
NO, but we have had patients tell us they can see better
when the prosthesis is in the cavity. Our only explanation
for this phenomenon is that you have relieved any undue tension
on both upper lids when they are symmetrically aligned.
is an Implant?
can be any inert (avascular
material, or autogenous (bone or dermis fat graft) tissue.
All the implants are designed to replace orbital volume loss.
Most of them are also designed to offer a range of motility
by attaching the eye muscles to them.
kind of implant is best for me?
can be contingent upon the diagnosis for removal of the eye,
the condition the extraocular muscles, the eyelids and the
available orbital tissues.
were Stock Plastic Eyes?
plastic eyes were mass produced ocular prostheses.
Initially, they were duplications of the most common empirically
fitted left and right glass eye sizes, shapes and colors.
Presently, if available they are used as temporary post-operative
prostheses, when an acrylic or silicone conformer is unsuitable.
are Custom Plastic Eyes?
plastic eyes can be classified as being made for the individual
who requires this service. The custom prosthesis can
be empirically fitted from a preformed shape and modified
with wax prior to its fabrication, or it can be impression
moulded for a more exacting fit, and then modified to accommodate
any weakness in orbital tissues and/or the eyelids.
This service would also include color matching of the iris,
sclera and vascular pattern of the fellow eye.
is the Difference Between "Stock" and "Custom"
eyes have assorted standard iris colors and whites of the
eye. They are mass produced prosthetic units and do
not fit anyone in particular. The "Custom" prostheses
are made to adapt to the contour of the orbital tissues and
eyelids, and colored to match the companion eye.
long does an artificial eye last?
general, plastic artificial eyes, unlike glass eyes, last
for a long time when properly made and cared for. Most
ocularists report a replacement is required every 4 to 5
years, because of bony orbit development early in life, and/or
tissue changes in adult life. However, we have patients
wearing the same prosthesis for over 30 years.
do I obtain an artificial eye?
may refer to the web site listing of the NEBO
for Board Certified Ocularists, or the ASO
membership list. Both have listings for most of the
states in the USA, the provinces of Canada, plus worldwide
ASO members. If you prefer to arrange for an appointment
with us, you may contact
us by E-mail, FAX, write or telephone us. Our on-line
form is the most convenient method. A telephone
call is more personal and we can answer your questions immediately.
is the process to procure a custom fitted artificial eye?
are referred to the ocularist by their eye doctor, especially
when there is insurance coverage. Appointments would
then be arranged for the following procedures (initial evaluation,
impression moulding, prosthetic model fitting, coloring matching
of the iris, sclera and vascular pattern simulation, and
fitting of the completed prosthesis). A more detailed
format can be found in the Procedures
it necessary to return to the ocularist on a regular basis?
you should have routine follow-up visits to determine if
your prosthesis needs to be reglazed, or if an adjustment
or replacement is required.
do I care for my prosthesis?
hygiene instructions are printed in the Procedures
Section for the plastic ocular
prosthesis and the scleral
should I use a tissue to wipe the artificial eye instead
of a handkerchief?
from a container or 'pocket pack' is reasonably germ free,
whereas, even a clean handkerchief in the pocket or purse
can become contaminated.
there a certain way I should wipe the prosthesis to prevent
it from falling out?
the sighted eye you always wipe away from the nose.
This prevents any foreign particles (eyelashes, dirt specks)
from becoming embedded in the tear duct. However, when
wearing a prosthesis you would always pat or wipe toward
the nose to prevent the lower eyelid from collapsing and
ejecting the prosthesis.
I have to remove the prosthesis?
glands, and the mucus membrane release fluid. This
combination of liquid causes a protein deposit to gradually
accumulate on the prosthetic surface. This build up
can irritate the underlying tissue. A daily hygiene
routine of cleansing the lids, lashes and surface of
the prosthesis (without removal) will forestall the time
when it becomes necessary to remove it.
often do I have to remove my prosthesis?
is dependent upon your ability to completely close the eyelids,
if you have any allergies, and your personal hygiene
care of the prosthesis. Some patients have to remove
it daily, others once a week, a month or annually.
We will evaluate your tolerance level after the prosthesis
is worn for one month.
do I remove and reinsert the prosthesis?
and insertion of the prosthesis is relatively simple.
Please refer to the printed instructions located in the Procedure
Section. During your appointment, we will also
instruct you how to remove the prosthesis with a rubber suction
cup and also with the fingers. Reinsertion is best
done with the fingers.
does one assist in removing and inserting my prosthesis?
in removing and inserting the prosthesis is not difficult.
Please refer to the printed instructions located in the Procedure
do I tell the top of the prosthetic eye from the bottom?
top will be identified by a well-defined black dot(s). One
black dot for the left eye, and two black dots for the right
eye. If someone is assisting you, you can just tell
them "dot is top."
vision is very poor in the remaining eye, how will I be able
to identify top from bottom if I cannot see the black dot(s)
is when you will rely on touch. Each impression moulded
ocular prosthesis has a unique peripheral contour.
In most shapes there will be a noticeable trochlea notch.
It is an indentation located on the prosthesis that sets
near the upper inner area of the socket. If this is
still difficult to identify we will create a nick(s) at the
top of the prosthesis. (A technique used for the blind
fingers are not as nimble as they use to be. I don't
know if I can squeeze the rubber suction cup to remove the
artificial eye, and the hands are not that steady to catch
the eye if I try to use my fingers for removal. What
else can I do?
patients with arthritis, rheumatism or just stiffening of
the finger joints, we can provide you with a solid silicone
prosthesis remover, which is similar to a suction cup and
only requires you to hold it and make flush contact with
the prosthesis (squeezing is not required).
about the use of eyeglasses?
is important to wear polycarbonate eyeglasses for protection
of the remaining eye (especially for children). Eyeglasses
can also be prescribed for corrective cosmetic optics for
modification of any asymmetrical alignment of the prosthesis
and/or eyelids that cannot be corrected surgically or by
the ocularist. This would include ("+" or
"–") lenses and/or cylindrical power lenses.
I experience any occasional discomfort wearing the prosthesis?
an ocular prosthesis is properly fitted, there should be
no discomfort. However, on very cold or windy days
you may experience dryness on the surface of the prosthesis.
This dryness causes the upper eyelid to stick to the prosthesis,
especially, if you do blink too often. This may be
remedied with a wetting solution.
inconvenience should I expect?
inconvenience would relate more to the loss of sight in one
eye, rather than the wearing of a prosthesis. Therefore,
the problem is loss of depth perception and a percentage
of your peripheral vision. We would refer you to the
Frank B. Brady’s book entitled "A Singular View."
one participate in sports activities even when wearing an
participation in contact sports is possible providing you
wear protective polycarbonate glasses to protect both your
eye and the prosthesis. You will have two problems
to contend with however, depth perception and peripheral
vision. We have found that the younger one is when
the eye loss occurs, the easier it is to adapt and compensate
for these two important factors.
the allergy season and summer heat be of any concern?
the hot summer heat together with any allergies (sinus, hay
fever, asthma), you will experience more than the normal
amount tearing or secretions. Always carry a pocket
pack of tissues to keep the surface clean.
very cold temperatures have any affect on wearing the prosthesis?
in the winter, the prosthesis can feel like an ice cube if
you are an indoors person most of the time. Skiers
will usually wear goggles with an eye pad under the one lens,
although construction workers are accustomed to cold weather
and have little complaint.
eyelid becomes irritated and sore because I cannot close
the eyelid completely. Is there something to make the
eyelid more comfortable?
are several heavier viscosity (silicone and eucalyptus) liquids
that will keep the prosthetic surface moist for a longer
period of time than wetting solutions.
does secretion accumulate on the lower eyelid and lashes?
anatomy has changed when there is loss of an eye. Therefore,
the tear duct in the inner canthus
of the lids is not able to act as the drainage for all of