• Acrylic – Specifically Polymethyl methacrylate, it is the main component in prosthetic eyes, replaced by glass as it is more durable, shatterproof, and less pourous which allows for a much more smoothly polished surface.
  • Adipose Tissue – Fatty tissues that cushion the eyeball.  lt is usually referred to when its loss, reduction or displacement in the orbit creates facial asymmetry of the eyelids resulting in enophthalmos and/or superior sulcus depression.
  • Adiposis – Breaking down of fatty tissue, or its gravitational displacement after loss of the eye.
  • Adnexa – Appendages of the eyeball, including the eyelids, muscles and soft tissue.
  • Alginate – A powdery extract of marine kelp used for impressions before polyvinyl siloxane. When it is mixed with water, it is set into a gelatinous mixture.  It is used for impressions of the eye and socket. This material was phased out as it changes shape soon after the impression is taken, however it may be used in some cases, such as a glaucoma valve.
  • Anophthalmic/Anophthalmos – Absence of the eye or eyes.  It can be a congenital condition (born without eyes) or acquired (surgically removed).
  • Anterior Chamber – The space between the cornea and iris in the human eye and the ocular prosthesis.
  • Anterior Surface – The front curvature of the ocular prosthesis, implant and/or eye.
  • Arcus Senilis – A white or creamy opacity around the edge of a cornea, commonly found in older people.
  • A.S.O. – The American Society of Ocularists
  • Avascular Implant – A solid orbital implant that does not allow penetration of blood vessels.  It is usually encapsulated in fibrous tissue.


  • Bilateral – A term referring to both eyes.
  • Bio-compatible Implant – A porous implant that may be used with living tissue.
  • Blepharal – A term used to refer to the eyelids.
  • Blepharitis – Inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Blepharophimosis – An unusually small eyelid aperature.
  • Blepharoplasty – A corrective surgical procedure of the eyelids.
  • Blepharoptosis – Drooping upper eyelid
  • Blepharochalasis – Relaxation of the eyelid caused by loss of muscle tone.
  • Buccal Mucosa – Tissue of the mouth used for split or full thickness grafts in reconstruction of the fornices.


  • Canthi – Where the upper and lower eyelids meet.
  • Canthus – Referring to the medial (nasal) and lateral (outside) side of the eyelids.
  • Chemosis – A swelling of the bulbar conjuctiva.
  • Cilia or Cilium – Eyelashes.
  • Collarette – The color of the eye surrounding the pupil, sometimes consisting of a rust like brown color for example.
  • Conformer – Silicone or Plastic – A concave oval shape piece inserted into the socket after surgical removal of the eye.  It assists in the retention of the upper and lower cul-de-sac, and prevents the eyelashes in turning inward.
  • Congenital Anomaly -A condition that has affected the full development of the eye.
  • Conjunctiva -A mucous membrane tissue lining the underside of the eyelid and the eyeball.
  • Cornea – The clear curved surface of the eye and prosthesis.
  • Crazing – Stress cracks of the prosthesis that may be caused by improper curing of the acrylic or a chemical reaction from solvent such as alcohol.


  • Delamination – The separation of the layers, typically in a handpainted painted iris, when pigments used seperate in the acrylic. This phenomenon does not occur with Digital Irises.
  • Dermatochalasis -Extra eyelid skin caused by a reduction of its elasticity.
  • Digital Iris – A high precision digitally produced iris which has been in use by our office for nearly 20 years. Our patented digital iris is a vital and revolutionary Ocularist tool which assists the Ocularist in making a highly detailed, easily reproducible prosthetic eye.
  • Dilating Pupil – Our patented Digital Iris dilating pupil is a distinct pattern in the collarette (the area around the pupil) which creates the illusion of a pupil getting larger and smaller when the lighting changes.
  • Dry Eye Syndrome – A low amount of tears or mucus


  • Ectropion – The turning inward of the eyelid and eyelashes.
  • Enucleation – The removal of the eyeball.
  • Epiphora – An excess of tears.
  • Evisceration – Removal of the contents of the eye, sometimes including the cornea.
  • Eye Fitter – A provider that does not fabricate custom prostheses, but fits stock prosthesis which may cause major complications.
  • Exophthalmos – Unusual protrusion of the eye.
  • Extrusion – The expulsion of the orbital implant.


  • Fenestration – A hole penetrating a surface.
  • Fibrovascular – Ingrowth of fibrous tissue and blood vessels.
  • Fornix – The peripheral extremity where bulbar and palpebral tissues meet in an enucleated socket.


  • Geriatric Cases – An older person with an atonal condition of the muscles and tissue of the orbit.
  • Glaucoma – A condition causing damage to the optic nerve, usually because of excessive pressures in the eyeball


  • Hematoma – Inflammation of tissues in the eye due to the occurance a hemorrhage.


  • Implant – A foreign device or material embedded in the living tissue of the eye.
  • Impression Molding Technique – An acquired technique of molding from dentistry for obtaining a copy of the socket, or affected eye using an impression tray.
  • Impression Tray – An acrylic shell with multiple fenestrations with a tube attached for injection of the impression material. The excess material flows through the holes and the resulting impression may be removed as a whole.
  • Iris – The colored part of the eye where detailed artwork for a prosthesis is contained using our patented Digital Iris dilating pupil technology.


  • Lacrimal Duct – The tear duct which removes the tears as they flow toward the inner canthus.  Blockage of the ducts or excessive tears may cause tears to flow down the cheek.
  • Lacrimal Gland – Located in the upper and outer posterior of the eyelid which secretes tears when blinking.
  • Lagophthalmos – Voluntary or involuntary closure of the eyelids.
  • Levator Muscle – The muscle which controls the upper eyelid.
  • Limbus – The border between the outer stroma iris and the sclera.


  • Macrophthalmos – Unusually large eyeball, typically due to infantile glaucoma.
  • Maxillofacial Prosthesis – A term which describes external/orbital prosthesis
  • Meibomian Glands – Pores of the eyelids which secrete an oily like substance to prevent normal tear flow from running down the cheek.
  • Microphthalmic/Microphthalmos – Referring to a congenital condition of a partially developed eye.
  • Mold – A shape or die made from a custom model that will be produced at a later time.
  • Mucous –  A viscous secretion from the mucous membranes.


  • Nanophthalmos – An unusually small eye with a small surrounding eye structure.
  • Necrosis – The dying of tissues due to insufficient supply of blood.
  • Non-surgical – Ability to restore a normal appearance without a surgical procedure.


  • Ocularist – A paramedical professional who fits and fabricates custom made prosthetic eyes. The highest possible certification is a Board Certified Ocularist by NEBO.
  • Ophthalmoscopy – An examination of the eye.
  • Ophthalmologist – A medical doctor who specializes in conditions and diseases of the eye. They also perform surgical and medical treatment of their conditions.
  • Optician – A professional for manufacturing of eye glasses and contact lenses.
  • Optometrist – A professional who performs an examination of the eyes and related structures for visual problems and disorders. They also prescribe glasses or optical aids.
  • Orbicularis Muscle – The muscle surrounds the eyelids and closes/opens them.


  • Palpebral Conjunctiva – The under part of the eyelid tissue.
  • Palpebral Fissure – The opening of the eyelid.
  • Persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous – or PHPV also known as persistent fetal vasculature PFV, is a rare congenital developmental anomaly of the eye that results following failure of the embryological, primary vitreous and hyaloid vasculature to regress.
  • Photophobia – An unusual sensitivity to light.
  • Phthisis/Phthisical – Referring to an eye that shrunk down because of the loss of its fluid.  It is an acquired condition caused by a trauma, disease, or even surgery.
  • Polymerization – The process of cooking the acrylic, completing the chemistry to form a solid molecule.
  • Polymethylmethacrylate – Plexiglass, the acrylic which is what prosthetic eyes are composed of is polymerized by mixing monomer with methyl methacrylate.
  • Posterior Surface – The underside of the prosthetic eye or eyelid.
  • Pressure Necrosis – Dying of the conjunctival tissue due to the pressure from a poorly fit prosthesis.
  • Preventative Maintenance – A regular cleaning of the prosthesis which reduces protein buildup and irritation which could create a problem in the future.
  • Primordium – The eye in its earliest stage of development.
  • Protein Deposits – Drying tears, mucous, and protein buildup on the surfaces of the prosthesis, this roughness may cause irritation when it drys.
  • Proptosis – Protruding eye
  • Pseudoptosis – A sag or drooping of the upper eyelid. This is due to orbital or globe loss, but may return to normal with a properly fit scleral or ocular prosthesis.
  • Ptosis – Drooping of the eyelid caused by the loss of orbital muscles.
  • Pupil – The black opening in the center of the iris.


  • Rectus – The muscles attached to the eyeball.
  • Retinoblastoma – A malignant tumor in the retina, which usually affects children in the first three years of life.
  • Retinopathy of Primaturity – A retinal disease in premature infants caused by excessive oxygen during the first few weeks of life.
  • Retrotarsal Atrophy – A sinking of the upper lid with displacement or loss of adipose tissue.


  • Silicone Suction Cup – A silicone device which is used for removal or insertion of the prosthesis.
  • Striations – Fine lines in the iris of the eye which give the iris structure texture.
  • Stroma – The colored region of the iris between the limbus and the collarette.
  • Superior Sulcus Depression – A loss of the adipose tissue in the upper eyelid.


  • Trichiasis – A condition which causes the eyelids to turn inwards.