Prosthetic Eye (Artificial eye)
What is Prosthetic eye?
An prosthetic eye is an artificial eye that is placed in the eye socket of patients whose eyes have been removed. The eye is made of a durable, high-quality acrylic and it comes in two forms: Stock shell and Custom-Made Prostheses. Stock shells are ready-made, while custom-made prostheses are built to the shape of the patient’s eye socket. The eyes will not restore vision to the patients. However, they can greatly improve quality of life by restoring a normal appearance to the face.
Prosthetic eyes are available for purchase at the Aravind Ocular Prosthetics Centre. Today, this center is one of the leading sites in India for stock and custom-made artificial eyes.
When might I need an artificial eye?
Artificial eyes are often used if a patient is completely blind in one eye OR if a condition in the eye threatens the life of the patient, requiring it to be removed. The most common example of the latter case is cancer and trauma. People with prosthetic eyes have been affected by conditions such as:
- Eye injury
- Eye infection
About the Artificial Eye
Implants are made of a dense, high-quality acrylic called PMMA. This material was selected because it fits well, is very durable, and does not irritate the eye socket. When a patient’s eye is removed during surgery, a ball implant is placed in the eye socket to fill the area that once contained the eye. A prosthetic is molded to sit in front of this ball, between the two eyelids.
For custom-made eyes, the molding of the prosthetic will be customized to the shape of the patient’s eye socket. This is done using a wax model. The purpose of the wax model is to determine the exact shape of the eye socket and to ensure that the eyelids can still close. Once the wax model is complete, the acrylic eye is made. The eye is painted and polished to match the other eye.
Custom-Made Vs Stock Eye
Custom-made eyes are generally better for the following reasons:
- Better fit in the eye socket
- Very little eye discharge
- Eye movement is more natural
- Hand-painted eye matches the other eye
- Longer-lasting than stock shells
However, stock shells are generally cheaper.
Care & Maintenance
Follow these steps for the best maintenance of your new prosthetic eye:
- Use regular water and bathing soap to clean the prosthesis
- Use saline solution or an eyewash to clean the eye socket
- Lubricating drops can help prevent dryness. Apply one drop in the morning and one at night.
- Normally, you can clean the eye once a month. However, frequency of removal and cleaning may vary with each patient.
- Come to the center once a year for periodic checkup and polishing. Polishing will remove any salt deposits and minor scratches.