What is a Custom Prosthetic Eye?
A custom prosthetic is an impression fit shape that roughly takes the shape of a convex shell which fills the missing volume of an eye socket to maintain lid symmetry and match the coloration of the patients companion eye. A custom eye helps people who have suffered eye trauma or eye loss look and feel natural. At Advanced Artificial Eyes, we understand how much an eye means to the comfort of individuals going about their day, and we work tirelessly to produce the absolute highest quality prosthetic eyes to help each and every one of our patients.
While many people believe that prosthetic eyes are only for folks missing an eye, in fact this is not the case. Out of the millions of eye injuries that occur every year, many people keep their eye intact. Though it may lose vision or appear unsightly, eyes can (and should) remain healthy organs within an individual’s anatomy.
Ocular health can be better maintained when an eye remains in its socket. Also, when it comes time to fit a person with a prosthetic eye, much more natural movement and look can be achieved when fitting the piece over an existing eye. It is very important to understand this, as patients can sometimes be led by ophthalmologists or ocular surgeons to remove an eye that could otherwise be saved. (This is because removing an eye is often the cheapest, easiest treatment. It may not, however, be best for the long-term quality of life of the patient.)
Creating a Prosthetic Eye
The first step in creating a prosthetic eye is an initial consultation. Your ocularist will inform you of the best options to treat your condition. Then, comes the fitting step. When fitting a patient for prosthetic eyes, we begin by taking an impression of the ocular socket. We do this by taking a mold — much like a dental impression — of the eye and the space around it. This is sometimes the part of the process that patients find most disconcerting. However, your ocularist will go to great lengths to insure that you are well prepared and as comfortable as possible during this important step.
We then create an extremely accurate iris using cutting edge digital technology to replicate your other eye. Our digital technology produces some of the best irises in the business, and we are proud of our innovative work in the field of ocularistry. Read more about our prosthetic eyes digital iris technology at this post. We then recreate with precision the veining pattern of your other eye using tiny red silk threads.
Final Steps for Prosthetic Eye
Once the “visual art” component of the piece is complete, we embark on refining the fit of your eye. This may sometimes take only a couple of meetings, or may take more. However, a dedicated ocularist will not consider his or her work complete until you are absolutely comfortable. Sometimes, an ocularist may recommend elective oculoplastic surgery in order to get the absolute optimal movement and fit for your prosthetic eye. It is important to select an ocularist with good relationships in place with surgeons and other ocular professionals, as creating prosthetic eyes is sometimes the work of an entire team.