What is an Eye Prosthetic?

Learn about Eye Prosthetics

eye prostheticPeople usually think of an eye prosthetic as a glass eye, a spherical eyeball that sits in the ocular socket. In reality, an eye prosthetic refers to something that is often very different.

An eye prosthetic is a round piece that sits in the socket for patients who have lost an entire eye. This may be due to severe eye trauma or disease. Many individuals who use eye prosthetics fit them over an existing eye that is either unseeing or unsightly. Much like a hard contact lens, which is known as a scleral shell.

A modern eye prosthetic is usually made of acrylic rather than glass. This is for 3 reasons: acrylic does not shatter, acrylic can be impression (custom) fit to a patient’s anatomy, and acrylic eyes can be fitted with digital irises.

Learn about Eye Prosthetic History

Advancements in Eye Prosthetic Technology

Artificial eyes date back to ancient times. Pharoahs would have their eyes surgically removed and replaced with gold eyes so people would think they were gods. In the 1600′s eye prosthetics were made of glass. With the invention of modern plastics came the new acrylic eye. The acrylic eye has several advantages over traditional methods.

The latest advancement in the eye prosthetic field is the incorporation of digital artificial eye graphics and printing methods. These advancements convey a level of aesthetic detail unachievable by human hands. The office of John Stolpe is pushing eye technology forward with the manufacture of digital irises. We believe these advances mean that the creation of eye prosthetics will focus more on shape and movement than paint and color.

Eye Prosthetic Patients

Reasons for an Eye Prosthetic

Patients make the move to get an eye prosthetic for a variety of reasons. They may have lost an eye due to trauma or disease. Or perhaps they were born with an unsightly eye and have heard that scleral shells may be helpful for them. In all of these cases, we focus strongly on achieving the best possible result for our patients. We want patients to go about their day unnoticed by those around them. Our goal is helping our patients to feel totally normal.

The term artificial eye is often used when an eye prosthetic is actually a much more accurate term. For patients with an unsightly not great looking eye, we aren’t actually giving them an artificial eye. Rather an ocular prosthesis knows as a scleral shell that fits right over their eye, much like a contact lens. This misunderstanding can lead to serious consequences, such as a patient having their eye removed when such a procedure may be unnecessary.

Prosthetic Eye Provider

Selecting a Provider for Prosthetic Eyes

When selecting a provider for eye prosthetics there are many things to consider: experience of the ocularist, cost, quality of the work, location, and of course the “bedside manner” and integrity of the ocularist. On all of these counts, we believe our office offers the absolute top of the line service.

  •  John Stolpe is a 3rd generation ocularist from a distinguished line of providers. While serving in the United States military, his grandfather Frederick Lewis began working to invent the modern acrylic prosthetic eye, an innovation that proved new, efficient materials could replace old glass technology.
  • John is on the absolute cutting edge in terms of aesthetic quality of his pieces, and he does not stop making improvements until the patient has achieved the absolute best result possible.
  • John is conveniently located in Southern California, though he has patients who fly to see him from as far away as Europe and Asia.
  • And, on one of the most important notes, John is a kind person who truly cares about his patients. Nothing gives him more satisfaction than knowing that one of his pieces has helped someone live a more fulfilling, more joyful life.
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