An ocular prosthesis, better known as an artificial eye, is a replacement for a missing or injured, unsightly eye. It does NOT restore sight. People who have suffered the loss of an eye will benefit from the restoration of normal eye appearance from a prosthesis, helping to restore self-confidence. Ocular prostheses fall under two categories: Full Artificial Eye or Scleral Shell. Both require the same methods in fabricating but with a few differences. There are also rare exceptions for those who require a lid with their prosthesis.
Full Artificial Eye Prosthesis
This type of prosthesis is for the individual who has had their globe removed. It is fitted by your ocularist after the socket swelling has subsided. This is typically started six to eight weeks after the surgical removal of your eye.
The prosthesis is custom made for you to match your eye color and to fit your socket. It is made from durable acrylic material, not glass. Movement of the artificial eye will depend upon a number of factors, but generally if the ocular muscles have not been damaged from an injury then you can expect your artificial eye to have some movement.
We use the modified impression technique to create an optimal fit for your ocular prosthesis. For the painting and colour matching, we actually place the partially completed prosthesis into the socket which allows us to identify intricate details and make appropriate enhancements to the final appearance of the prosthesis.
A Scleral Shell
This is a custom-made, thin eye prosthesis fitted directly OVER a blind and shrunken globe that has not been removed. It includes the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the sclera (the white part of the eye). It will, therefore, completely cover up an unsightly, deformed globe. The blind eye must be smaller than the "good" eye to allow space for the scleral shell to be fitted and to provide a good cosmetic result. The scleral eye shell helps to restore volume loss and will assist the upper eyelid to return to a normal position and match the companion eye. Since the ocular muscles are still attached to the damaged eye, movement with a scleral shell is usually excellent.
Many individuals who have a disfigured blind eye are unaware that a scleral shell is a viable option that does not entail surgery. As long as the eye is stable, pain free and smaller than the companion eye, it is very likely an option. Please contact our office directly for more details and an evaluation of your specific condition. Many of our patients wish they had heard about scleral shells earlier. This type of prosthesis serves to increase the individual's self-confidence and social interaction by restoring back one's natural appearance.