The Artificial eye
An eye may be surgically removed for many reasons including cancer, chronic diseases, industrial and motor accidents and violence.
Trauma related to fireworks, pranks, sharp objects are often to blame when children are involved.
Without an ocular prosthesis to fill the space left by the natural eye, the muscles in the socket will lose their tone and slacken; eyelids and eyelashes turn inwards causing irritation and infections.
Often patients are fitted with an implant; this is done by an ophthalmic surgeon.
The muscles in the socket are attached to this implant and the artificial eye is made to fit over this implant which will then facilitate and increase movement and a more natural appearance of the prosthesis.
The manufacture of a custom made artificial eye is a fairly lengthy process and an impression of the patients socket is taken to ensure the fit of the prosthesis is exact.
The Ocularist must ensure the best possible match with the existing eye; ideally the ultimate goal is when the prosthesis cannot be recognized as artificial.
Another type of custom made prosthesis is a haptic shell which fits over an existing blind eye which is damaged or disfigured and has become unsightly.
Ideally an artificial eye should be replaced every five years. With children the prosthesis is usually relined after one year and then replaced the next, depending on the growth rate o the child. The size of the prosthesis should be increased in order to keep up with and to stimulate the growth of the socket/orbit.