Ocular Prosthesis

A prosthetic eye can help enhance the appearance of people who have lost an eye to injury or disease. It’s typically called a “glass eye” or “fake eye.”

Ocular Prosthesis: What Is It?

The prosthetic eye consists of:

  • oval, whitish external shell finished to replicate the white color of the other eye
  • round, central part painted to appear like the iris and pupil of the other eye

Implanting a prosthetic eye (ocular prosthesis) is almost always advised after an eye is surgically gotten rid of due to harm or disease. This implant supports proper eyelid functioning.

Some of the reasons that an eye might be removed are:

  • injury
  • glaucoma
  • infection inside the eye
  • eye growths

See also: Glaucoma Treatment Options: Eye Drops, Medications

Ocular Prosthesis

Types of Surgery

There are two surgical approaches for removing a harmed eye. The kind of surgery you have will impact the selection of a prosthetic eye. The two approaches are:

Evisceration. In this technique, the jelly-like within the eye is suctioned out. This is done through an incision in the front of the eye. However the procedure preserves tissues in the:

  • external eye
  • eye socket (orbit)

Enucleation. In this approach, the entire eye (the globe-like “eyeball”) is removed and gotten rid of from the eye socket.

Your doctor will decide which method to use based upon:

  • type of eye condition you have
  • degree of damage to the eye

Why Is a Prosthetic Eye Used?

A prosthetic eye can improve the look of the impacted eye socket. For most people it is significantly preferable to wearing an eye spot or bandage.

If the whole eye is eliminated, an ocular implant and prosthesis avoid the tissues in the eye socket from growing to fill the void.

A prosthetic eye can not restore vision. After removal of the natural eye and placement of a prosthetic eye, an individual will have no vision in that eye.

What Is a Prosthetic Eye Made of?

At one time a “glass eye” was really made of glass. Today, a prosthetic eye is typically made of tough, plastic acrylic. The prosthetic eye is shaped like a shell.

The prosthetic eye fits over an ocular implant. The ocular implant is a separate difficult, rounded device that is surgically and completely ingrained much deeper in the eye socket.

An ocular implant is typically wrapped with living tissue or an artificial cushioning material before placement.

Prosthetic Eye Surgery: What to Expect

After surgery to remove the natural eye, a ball-shaped ocular implant is permanently and deeply implanted. Later, the detachable prosthesis is developed to fit over it.

Removing a damaged eye is typically performed under local anesthesia. Sedating medicines and pain medication may be offered through the veins to minimize anxiety and pain. General anesthesia is typically not necessary but is a choice.

Also read: Corneal Transplantation Surgery

Oral antibiotics may be recommended for a number of days after prosthetic eye surgery. Antibiotic eyedrops are typically recommended for a few weeks. The eye socket is kept covered and provided months to recover.

After recovery is complete, a professional in prosthetic eyes (ocularist) makes wax impressions of the front of the eye socket. The ocularist develops a custom-made prosthetic eye to fit over the ocular implant. A new iris (colored part of the eye) and blood vessels on the white area are thoroughly painted on by hand to match the healthy eye.

A prosthetic eye moves, however typically not as completely or quickly as your other healthy eye. The pupil in a prosthetic eye does not change in response to light. So the pupils of the two eyes may appear unequal.

The eye socket may continue to alter shape after surgery. Extra fitting and change of the prosthesis might be essential for weeks or months after initial placement.

Although the surgery itself is small, loss of an eye and getting used to life with a prosthetic eye can be extremely challenging, emotionally, and mentally. Therapy and support groups are offered to assist people through this often tough period.

Dr. D.Roberts / author of the article
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Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
Comments: 1
  1. Ronald Storey

    I lost my eye when I was 16 years of ages. I got hit in the face by a stray pellet. I have actually remained in a lot of pain lately. It has actually been 3 years, and I have never had a problem. When I took out my prosthetic eye, the swelling and discomfort dissipated. I am going to aim to leave it out however I feel so unpleasant leaving it out…

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