Terminology and Definitions
- Absence of an eye(s). It can be a congenital (born
without) or an acquired condition (surgically removed).
- Acquired Condition
- A condition that can be brought about by an eye disease,
trauma or surgery resulting in phthisis,
or exenteration of the
- Adipose Tissue
- Orbital fatty tissue that cushions the eyeball.
lt is usually made reference to when its loss, reduction
or displacement within the orbit causes facial asymmetry
of the eyelids resulting in enophthalmos and/or superior
- The breaking down of fatty tissue, or its gravitational
displacement following loss of the eye. It can also
occur following trauma induced phthisis.
- Appendages of the eyeball, which includes the eyelids,
muscles and soft tissue.
- A powdery extract of marine kelp when mixed with water
sets into a gelatinous form. It is used to taking
impressions of the orbit or globe.
- Anterior Chamber
- Area between the cornea and iris in both the human eye
and the ocular prosthesis.
- Anterior Surface
- The front of the ocular prosthesis, implant and/or the
- Arcus Senilis
- A white or creamy opacity around the edge of the cornea
that is found in the aged.
- An imbalance in facial alignment as it relates to the
eyes, eyelids or eyebrows.
- Avascular Implant
- A solid orbital implant that will not allow penetration
of blood vessels. It is usually encapsulated in
- Bio-compatible Implant
- A porous implant that can be infiltrated with living
- Reference to the eyelids.
- Inflammation of the eyelid margin.
- An abnormally small eyelid aperture.
- A corrective surgical procedure of the eyelid.
- A drooping of the upper eyelid.
- Excessive relaxation of the eyelid caused by loss of
- Buccal Mucosa
- Tissue in the mouth that is used for split or full thickness
grafts in reconstruction of the fornices.
- Bulbar Conjunctiva
- The tissue covering the scleral of the eyeball.
- Canthi (plural)
- The juncture where the upper and lower eyelids meet.
- Reference to either the medial (inner) and the lateral
(outer) extent of the eyelids.
- Catoptric Image
- A reflective light image cast upon the cornea of the
human eye and the ocular prosthesis. A balanced
reflective image on the corneas would signify symmetrical
- A severe swelling of the bulbar conjunctiva.
- Cilia (plural: Cilium)
- The eyelashes.
- Clinical Anophthalmos
- Birth defect: Complete absence of an optic vesicle (eye).
- Conformer, Plastic/Silicone
- A concave oval shape piece placed into the socket following
surgical removal of the eye. It aids in retention
of the upper and lower cul-de-sac, and to prevent inversion
of the eyelashes. It also has two small holes to
allow drainage of secretion and to apply post-operative
- Conformer, Custom
- A specific peripheral contour, anterior curvature and
thickness. It will also have a specific thickness
in order to preserve or expand the culs-de-sac.
- Conformer, Pressure
- The application of external force by means of an attached
'mushroom' shaped stem. Used when the anophthalmic
cavity is unable to retain a prosthesis. Also, used
to expand the orbital tissue and palpebral fissure.
- Congenital Anomaly
- An abnormal condition that affected the complete development
of the eyeball(s).
- The mucous membrane tissue which lines the under part
of the eyelid (palpebral) and
the eyeball (bulbar).
- Conjunctival Flap
- A portion of superior bulbar conjunctiva is drawn over
the cornea and sutured to the inferior bulbar conjunctiva.
- The clear curved surface of the eye and prosthesis.
Its anterior chamber depth can highlight the pigments
in the iris.
- Stress fractures in the plastic that can be caused by
improper curing or a chemical reaction from a non-compatible
- Mirror image symmetry of the eye and lids. A return
to a normal appearance.
- Cul-de-sac (Plural: Culs-de-sac)
- The shallow pocket where palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva
meet in the lower eyelid, and the deeper recess in the
upper eyelid. See: Fornix
- Custom Plastic Conformer
- See Conformer, Custom
- To drastically reduce in size, decrease the amount of
- A splitting or gaping of the conjunctiva at a suture
line or exposure of an implant.
- The splitting apart or separation of layers, usually
in the painted iris, when pigments used are incompatible
to the acrylic.
- Excessive eyelid skin caused by loss of its elasticity.
- Dermis Fat
- Autogenous tissue used to implant within the anophthalmic
cavity for reduction of enophthalmos.
- Dry Eye Syndrome
- A deficiency in tear film components (tears, mucus).
- Impaired action of the orbits extraocular and/or eyelid
muscles causing a lack of synchronized eye/prosthesis
movement and/or asymmetrical eyelid opening.
- Dysfunctional Globe
- An impairment of function, possible loss of vision, disfigured
- The turning outward of the eyelashes and eyelid.
Ectropion (of the upper eyelid)
is accompanied with retrotarsal atrophy.
Ectropion (of the lower eyelid)
is caused by orbicularis muscle weakness, and/or prolapse
of adipose tissue.
- An excessive amount of fluid in the subcutaneous tissues.
- Embryonic Stage
- A state of being an embryo, underdeveloped, rudimentary.
- Empirical Fit
- A trial and error method of fitting preformed shapes
in order to make a custom made prosthesis.
- The overall 'sinking in' appearance following loss of
the eyeball, or partial loss of ocular volume.
- The inward turning of the eyelashes and eyelid.
This is usually accompanied by contraction of the palpebral
conjunctiva (under part of the eyelid).
- The complete removal of the eyeball.
- An overflow of tears.
- Complete removal of the contents of the eye, this could
include the cornea.
- Eye Fitter
- An ancillary eye care provider who does not fabricate,
but does fit stock prostheses.
- The removal of the orbital contents which could include
- Abnormal protrusion of the eyeball.
- An expulsion of an orbital implant.
- Having many small holes (to allow excess impression gel
to flow through).
- Ingrowth infiltration of blood vessels and fibrous tissue.
A means of stabilizing/anchoring a porous type implant.
- Fornix (Plural: Fornices)
- Inter-related to cul-de-sac. It is the peripheral
extreme where palpebral and bulbar tissues meet in the
- Geriatric Cases
- The older patient with an atonal condition of the external
orbital tissue and muscles.
- Any inert foreign or autogenous material embedded within
the living tissue in the orbit.
- Impression Moulding Technique
- An adapted version from the dental profession for obtaining
an accurate copy of the anophthalmic socket, and/or affected
eye with a suitable impression
- Impression Tray
- An acrylic scleral shell with multiple fenestration's
and an attached tube for injection of an alginate impression
gel. The excess gel will flow through the holes.
Once set the gel and tray can be removed as a unit.
- Associated with moveable ocular implants: Attachment
of the recti (eye muscles) to the
- The colored diaphragm of the eyeball with a dilating
pupil. It makes up the whole character of the eye.
- Lacrimal Duct
- The tear ducts remove the tears as they flow toward the
inner canthus. Excessive
tearing or blockage of the ducts will cause the tears
to flow down the cheek.
- Lacrimal Gland
- Located in the upper and outer posterior part of the
eyelid, that secretes tears when you blink.
- Voluntary or involuntary (incomplete) closure of the
- Levator Muscle
- It controls the elevation of the upper eyelid.
- The boundary between the cornea and scleral.
- An abnormally large eyeball, usually related to infantile
- Maxillofacial Prosthesis
- A term describing an external/orbital prosthesis (Lids
- Meibomian Glands
- Pores in the eyelids that secrete an oily substance to
prevent your normal tear flow from running down your cheek.
- A congenital anomaly
(abnormal development). Partially developed eyeball(s).
- A form or die plate made from any preformed or custom
moulded model that will later be reproduced.
- Singular vision.
- Is a specific term applied to the action of taking an
impression (mould) of the cavity or dysfunctional
- A viscid secretion derived from the mucous membrane.
- Abnormally small eye with proportionately small surrounding
eye structure. (Congenital
- The wasting away of tissue due to insufficient blood
- Non-surgical 'Cure'
- Ability to restore a normal appearance by means of an
eye prosthesis without requiring an oculoplastic procedure.
- A paramedical technician who fabricates and fits custom
made artificial eyes. The highest degree would be
Board Certified Ocularist by NEBO.
- Visual examination of the eye.
- A medical physician (Oculist) who specializes in diseases
and defects of the eye and its adnexa. Performs
medical and surgical treatment of these conditions.
- A professional in the manufacturing of eye glasses and
- A professional who examines the eyes and related structures
for visual problems and disorders, prescribes glasses,
lenses and other optical aids.
- Orbicularis Muscle
- The muscle that circles the eyelid. Its function
is to close the eyelids.
- The posterior (under part) of the eyelid tissue.
- Palpebral Fissure
- The eyelid opening, the aperture.
- Abnormally sensitive to light.
- Phthisis and Phthisical refers to an eye that has shrunk
down due to loss of its fluid. This is an acquired
condition that is caused by a disease, trauma or possibly
surgery. (Acquired condition would indicate that
you had a normal size eye prior to this event.)
Also, if the globe is Microphthalmic,
it would indicate that it is a congenital
problem. It never developed to full size.
- Plastic Conformer
- See Conformer, Plastic/Silicone
- The curing (with heat) of the raw acrylic (monomer and
polymer) and forming a polymeric compound.
- Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
- Acrylic (plastic) with Trade Names of Lucite and Plexiglas.
- Porous Implant
- An implant having openings throughout to allow
fibrous tissue ingrowth.
- Posterior Surface
- The back of the prosthesis or under part of the eyelid.
- Pressure Necrosis
- The localized wearing away of conjunctival tissue due
to pressure from a poorly fitted prosthesis.
- Pressure Stem Conformer
- See Conformer, Pressure
- Preventative Maintenance
- A periodic evaluation of the orbital contents, and reglaze
of the plastic ocular prosthesis.
- An organ (eye) in its earliest stage of development.
- Falling down of the lower eyelid (an atonal condition).
- Protein Deposits
- Dried tears, mucous, secretion build up on the surface
of the prosthesis. It can be abrasive causing irritation
to the conjunctival tissues.
- Protrusion of the eye.
- A sagging or drooping of the upper eyelid. This
is a result of orbital or global volume loss, but returns
to normal elevation with a proper fitting ocular or scleral
- Eyelid droop, caused by partial or complete loss of external
orbital muscles. It is usually referring to the
upper lid (UP). Lower lid (LL) would be a considered
a prolapsed condition.
- Psychological 'Cure'
- Ability to restore cosmesis, to regain a normal appearance
with the use of an ocular prosthesis or scleral shell.
Being accepted by your peers as looking normal.
- Rectus (Plural:
- Singular and plural for the muscles attached to the eyeball.
- Reform Prosthesis
- A description for a vacuum formed hollow glass eye.
It also was used to describe the plastic stock eye.
Today’s terminology refers to an ocular prosthesis as
compared to scleral shell prosthesis.
- A malignant tumor involving the retina, usually effecting
children in the first three years of life. It can
- Retinopathy of Primaturity
- A retinal disease (ROP) in premature infants usually
caused by excessive oxygen during the first few weeks
- Retrotarsal Atrophy
- The sinking in of the upper lid with loss or displacement
of adipose tissue.
- Retrolental Fibroplasia
- A disease (RLF) first reported in 1942. Now categorized
as (ROP) See: Retinopathy of Prematurity.
- Silicone Conformer
- See Conformer, Plastic/Silicone
- Silicone Prosthesis Remover
- A solid silicone prosthesis remover is similar to a
suction cup and only requires
you to hold it and make flush contact with the prosthesis
(squeezing is not required) to remove it from the eye
socket. It is for patients with arthritis, rheumatism
or just stiffening of the finger joints and are unable
to use a suction cup.
- As referenced to the iris, it is the fine pigmented lines
between the primary collarette (near the pupil) and the
periphery of the diaphragm (limbus).
- Suction Cup
- A small rubber or silicone vacuum device used in insertion
and/or removal of the prosthesis. See also Silicone
- Superior Sulcus Depression
- A loss or displacement of adipose tissue in the upper
- Adhesion(s) between the bulbar
and the palpebral conjunctiva.
- Therapeutic Scleral Shell (TSS)
- A scleral shell whose thickness will restore lid and
facial symmetry. Also see: Non-surgical
'Cure' and Psychological
- An inward turning of the eyelashes.
- Turtle Lid Syndrome
- Complete loss of adipose tissue
causing the thin upper eyelid to conform closely to the
anterior contour of the prosthesis and bony orbital wall.