We offer all services to creation and care of your artificial eye.
These range from the initial consultation, manufacturing of the eye, to indefinite follow-up care. We know that a first visit to an ocularist can be unsettling for some. Below is our full process.
First Step: Consultation
We strive to put our patients at ease, and the first step is to find out exactly what our patient needs and make a plan on how we will achieve our mutual goals. We have seen literally hundreds of cases, from missing eyes due to cancer, to folks who just haven’t been able to get their contacts to fit right. We help determine the solution that’s right for you, and walk you through how the rest of the process will work.
Second step: Take an impression
If you are getting fitted for the first time, we almost always take an impression. Using a dental casting gel called alginate or silicone, we make a mold of your eye socket, which takes 3 to 4 minutes. This mold will serve as the starting point for the final product. We then take an extremely high quality photograph of your functioning eye to use as a template for the manufacture of your prosthetic eye so that we can incorporate all of the visual detail into your new eye.
Third step: Refine the shape
We use a clear piece of acrylic for the purposes of shaping and fitting, over the course of 2 to 5 appointments, and over a range of 1 to 6 months. (We can adjust our process to meet the needs of out of town patients or those on a tight time schedule.) While the first product can be very close to your needs, a trial period using the clear acrylic is extremely important.
There are a few reasons for this: We see how you feel wearing this shape. Do you like the fit? Is it comfortable? Does it feel natural like your other eye? Additionally, the curvature of your eye will adjust to the shell that goes over it, so, as your eye adjusts, we adjust the shell. In no time, the two will meet in the middle and you will have an excellent solution.
Fourth step: Make the eye based on the final shape
Using the clear acrylic shape refined in Step 3, the placement of the iris (the “gaze”) on the mold is set. We incorporate the iris color from an extremely high quality digital template of your functioning eye. We also strive to match iris diameter within a tenth of a millimeter. We hand paint the whites of your eye incorporating any visual details of the functioning eye. The vein pattern is also matched, as a mirror image of the veins in the functioning eye, using tiny silk threads.
Fifth step: Follow-up
Depending on the results after you receive your prosthesis, we may see you the following day or we may see you in 3 months. We check the opening, alignment for visual eye contact, closure of the eye, anatomical function and secretions, and make sure that the surrounding tissues are not being irritated. We make sure comfort is good, and that there are no other problems.
Generally, we should see you about once every 6 months to remove the eye, clean it, and polish it to a shine, and discuss your maintenance regimen.