Microphthalmia and Anophthalmia
Learn About Anophthalmia and Microphthalmia:
Microphthalmia is a rare condition where a child is born with an underdeveloped eye. Anophthalmia is now thought to truly be a special type of Microphthalmia where the eye can’t be found without surgical investigation. Microphthalmia occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 individuals.
Causes of these conditions may include genetic mutations and abnormal chromosomes. Researchers also believe that environmental factors, such as exposure to X-rays, chemicals, drugs, pesticides, toxins, radiation, or viruses may increase the risk of these conditions, but research is not conclusive. Sometimes the cause in an individual patient cannot be determined.
Both conditions can achieve excellent outcomes. The key is early intervention by the ocularist and ophthalmologist, as well as teamwork between the parents and child. By progressively enlarging the prosthetic eye, the soft tissues and bony orbit can be stimulated to grow, minimizing facial deformity which would otherwise occur.
Anophthalmia and Microphthalmia Information
Learn more about underdeveloped eyes:
One of the most important factors to long term success is to develop a report with the child so the child assists in the process. Traumatized children make everything much more difficult.
A colored prosthesis that looks like a normal eye is usually fitted as soon as the patient can successfully wear a clear fitting template for several days. Until then, clear conformers are used. When the conformers are in place the eye socket will be able to be viewed for fit and function of the prosthesis. These conformers are not painted to look like a normal eye because they are for viewing and evaluating the eye socket under the prosthesis. On a regular basis, a larger size conformer will be placed to help the growth of the bones and soft tissues around the eye.
Regular changes will be made to the child’s prosthesis until about the age of three. It’s important to fit the child’s prosthesis to allow maximum natural function of the eye socket and prosthesis.
Treatment of Microphthalmia
Learn About Treatment of Microphthalmia
A colored prosthesis that looks like a normal eye is typically fitted as soon as possible. An important factor in making a prosthesis for the child is making sure it fits and functions properly. To do so, the child is first custom fit with a transparent template through which observations and evaluations can be made. Traumatized children are far more challenging to treat than normal patients. One of the most critical aspects of treating microphthalmia is getting a caring ocularist, who does not traumatize your child and associate visiting their ocularist as a negative experience.
Learn more from the National Eye Institute