Posts Tagged ‘artificial eyes’

American Society of Ocularists Meeting in Seattle

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

This weekend, the American Society of Ocularists is holding their semi-annual educational meeting in Seattle, Washington. This will be the first time the ASO has met in Seattle and it proves to be an exciting line-up of speakers and programs. Two of our distinguished eye physicians will be speaking at the conference.

Bryan Sires, MDBryan Sires, MD, PhD, FACS from Allure will be speaking on the anatomy and physiology of eyelids.

Abstract: The specialized anatomy of the eyelid provides the physiological benefits to the eye. The eyelid is paramount in protecting the eye and enhancing vision. This comes about by the function of eyelid opening and closure along with the production of tears for the visual medium. A thorough understanding of normal eyelid anatomy and physiology allows one to appropriately examine this structure. Deviations from normal allow one to understand diagnostic entities and to provide the basis for treatment.

Avery Weiss, MDAvery Weiss, MD, from Seattle Children’s will be speaking about ocular diseases in infants and children.

Abstract: This lecture will focus on congenital abnormalities of the globe in which the services of an ocularist are frequently needed. The first portion of this talk will focus on postnatal growth of the eye and orbit, ocular malformations with emphasis on microphthalmia, anophthalmia and glaucoma. The second portion will focus on acquired diseases of the globe especially intraocular tumors, retinal vascular diseases, retinopathy of prematurity and trauma for which enucleation is a treatment option. The main goal of this lecture is for the ocularist to learn more about the ocular diseases in infants and children that may benefit from orbital expanders and ocular prosthetics.

Depth Perception And Monocular Vision

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Many patients ask about depth perception and the loss of vision in one eye. To help explain the impact of monocular vision on depth perception, we need to define a few things.

Monocular Vision: a condition in which one eye is blind, seeing with only one eye

Binocular Vision: seeing with two eyes simultaneously

Depth Perception: ability to detect how far away an object is from other objects

When looking at depth perception, there are two sets of cues that contribute to what we perceive. Binocular cues and monocular cues.

Binocular Depth Cues:

Convergence: inward turning of eyes. The closer the object, the more convergence needed.

Stereopsis: three-dimensional vision

A person who lost sight in one eye would only be able to see monocular cues. They would not be able to view objects in 3D or stereopsis. It is helpful to remember that true stereopsis is most advantageous only up to 3 feet. After this distance, it becomes a weak visual cue. So, what about those with monocular vision? There are 7 monocular depth cues that help a person determine the distance between objects. These are all weak visual cues that can add up to be quite helpful in daily life.

Monocular Depth Cues:

Accommodation (or focusing): is the change in dioptric power of the interocular lens in order to see a near object more clearly. The more accommodation needed, the closer the object.

Linear Perspective: the visual phenomenon in which parallel straight lines will converge in the distance. If two parallel lines are assumed to be straight, then the further separated the lines become, the closer the object must be.

Interposition (or overlapping): is the visual phenomenon in which the view of one object may be blocked by another object. The object being blocked must be behind the first object.

Texture Gradient: the amount of detail in an object. The closer the object, the more detail visible. Far objects lose detail.

Relative Size: is the visual phenomenon in which larger retinal image sizes are associated with objects that are closer. An object that appears larger than a similar object will be closer.

Light and Shadow: these cues can provide feedback on the elevation or recession of an object.

Relative Brightness: is the visual phenomenon in which closer objects appear brighter than further objects.

Aerial Perspective: is the visual phenomenon of distant objects appearing hazier than closer objects. This only occurs in long distances, like mountains which appear hazy due to how far away they are.

A Singular View

Motion Parallax: is the apparent displacement of objects in space while moving that causes closer objects to move faster than distant objects. Think of looking out a car window when moving and seeing the objects in the distance move by slowly, but the objects close-up moving very quickly.

We hope this information will be helpful, there are also many practical suggestions in coping with monocular vision in an excellent book by Frank Brady, A Singular View.

Early Artificial Eyes

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Here is a website with some great information about some early artificial eyes. It shows some great photos and schematics. Check it out!

Early Artificial EyesEarly Artificial Eyes

Common Questions About Artificial Eyes

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Often we will receive questions that may be helpful to other wearers of ocular prosthetics, or for one who is in need of an artificial eye. We hope these questions and answers below will be helpful!

Q: Will the eye “cry” like normal?
A: Yes, the tear production is in the eyelids, so having a prosthesis bring the eyelids forward to “full sized” will allow normal tear production and tear flow.

Q: Can you “rub” your eye, get the sleep out of it?
A: Yes, we recommend patients rub both eyes “towards the nose” to remove any drainage or sleep in the eye.

Q: Is it sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Below zero weather?
A: The prosthesis itself is solid acrylic, so it does not conduct heat. If you are skiing in cold and wind, the eye will become cold and dry quickly. If you are in a hot dry or dusty environment, it will become dry quickly. Both of these extreme environments can be alleviated by using a lubrication eye drop to keep the eye moist and lubricated. We have several types of lubricants that have worked well for patients.

Q: In the winter cold on a walk, will the eye drain fluid?
A: Similar to above, it may become dry and the body may try to lubricate, so it may drain, similar to tears. Again, using a lubrication drop before the walk will alleviate this.

Q: Will sleep/drainage in the eye be bad?
A: In the prosthetic side, typically more drainage is produced due to the presence of the prosthesis in the socket. Whether this will increase or decrease the amount of drainage you currently experience is difficult to predict.

Q: Will it pop out involuntarily?
A: In general, no. The prosthesis is held in by the eyelids, so if your lower lid is very lax, it would be more possible for the prosthesis to become dislodged when rubbed. For most, this is not a concern.

Q: Are there any activity restrictions?
A: No. Swimming is fine, chlorine will not damage the prosthesis. I can not think of any other activities that would be hampered by wearing a prosthesis.

Q: Can I take a normal shower?
A: Absolutely.

Q: Can you wear make up near the eye?
A: Absolutely.

Q: What happens when the eye socket becomes infected?
A: Infection would be noticeable by increased drainage or discomfort in the socket. Treatment would be similar to pink eye, treated with an antibiotic gel or eye drop. It should clear on its own, just like pink eye would, but will clear within 2-3 days with an antibiotic.

Q: Are the procedures done at your office?
A: Yes, the entire prosthesis is made over 4 appointments at our office.

If you have questions that are not answered here, feel free to contact us! We would be happy to help in any way we can. Also, take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

Help! My Dog Ate My Eye!

Monday, November 16th, 2009

It may sound funny, but this has happened to several patients over the years. Just as animals like the smell and taste of your shoes, they will happily munch on your prosthetic eye if it is left unattended. We would typically recommend wearing your eye full time, but if you need to remove it for any reason, make sure you store it in a safe place, out of the reach of any of your four footed friends.

This is an example of a recent occurrence, note the small bite marks that cover the front and back surface. This may seem hopeless, but if the acrylic is not too old, we may be able to grind through the marks, add back the acrylic and return the prosthesis to its original condition.

Welcome To Artificial Eyes Blog

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Welcome to Erickson Labs Northwest’s Artificial Eyes Blog. We will be updating this blog monthly with information that may be of interest to those who wear ocular prosthetics. Feel free to check back regularly to see new entries or sign up for the RSS feed to be notified when new entries have been posted.

Our blog will focus on these main categories:

  • Helpful Hints
  • Artificial Eyes
  • Scleral Shells
  • New Advancements
  • Interest Stories
  • Common Myths
  • Frequently Asked Questions

We hope you find our blog to be a useful aid. Please contact us with any information you would like to see included here.


Christie Erickson  BCO/BADO Licensed Ocularist

Todd Cranmore  BCO/BADO Licensed Ocularist