Posts Tagged ‘polishing’

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.

Myth #4: Artificial Eyes are Made of Glass

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Okay, so this one’s actually true. Artificial eyes have been and do continue to be made of glass in some parts of the world. In United States, blown glass has not been used to make artificial eyes in over 65 years. Please see our history section for more explanation of this. The current material for making artificial eyes is acrylic. Poly-methylmethacrylate or PMMA for short. Acrylic is an excellent material due to its very low reactivity with human tissue. The acrylic is also a very smooth material that is very strong. Acrylic is actually more transparent than glass, hence it’s widespread use in aquarium enclosures, rather than glass.

For our benefits, acrylic is a very good material to work with. It can be added to and subtracted from relatively easily and is very durable. Most ocular prosthetics last 5 years, but not because of the material. Usually the fit of the prosthesis has changed due to the constant changing of one’s own ocular tissue. The acrylic will usually do quite well in the socket until about 10 years when the pores will begin harboring bacteria.

Acrylic eyes do require maintenance to keep the surface smooth and free of bacteria. A professional polish every six months is recommended for most patients. This allows the ocularist an opportunity to inspect the fit, health of the socket and also remove protein and bacteria that form in the pores of the acrylic. If it has been more than a year since your last polish, please contact your ocularist.

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.