Inserting a Prosthetic Eye
- Lift upper lid with index finger to create an opening. Gently slide top edge of prosthesis under upper lid.
- Release upper lid once prosthesis is in. Pull down lower lid and blink until prosthesis sets into position.
With Suction Cup:
- Attach suction cup to prosthesis by squeezing handle. Lift upper lid and slide top edge of prosthesis under upper lid.
- Release upper lid and pull down lower lid to seat prosthesis. Squeeze suction cup handle to release. Blink eyelids.
Removing a Prosthetic Eye
- Pull down the lower eyelid with index finger, look up and slide finger towards the ear.
- Allow the prosthesis to slide out over the lower lid. Gently remove prosthesis with free hand.
With Suction Cup:
- Open eyelids, apply suction cup (or prosthetic eye remover) to the prosthesis and squeeze the handle. When attached, hold handle lightly.
- Pull down lower lid with finger. Tilt the prosthesis up and out, over the lower lid. Squeeze suction cup handle to release.
Cleaning Your Ocular Prosthesis
Over time, the surface of the prosthesis collects protein and debris. Taking good care of your prosthesis helps to ensure a healthy socket and increase the life of your prosthesis. Cleaning the prosthesis every 2-3 weeks is ideal.
Gently scrub the prosthesis with fingertips using warm water and rinse thoroughly. Dry with a soft tissue, lightly buffing the surface. On occasion, mild soap or baby shampoo can be used and rinsed thoroughly. Avoid all cleaning solvents and alcohol as these may damage the prosthesis.
Polishing Your Prosthetic Eye
We recommend professional polishing every 6 months. Regular polishing provides comfort, decreased mucosal drainage and a more natural appearance of the prosthesis. Polishing removes scratches, protein deposits and bacteria from the surface of the prosthesis. During this appointment, an examination will also be performed to ensure your tissue is healthy and your prosthesis is fitting correctly.
Some symptoms that may occur when one is in need of a polish are:
- irritated or itchy lids
- increased drainage or discomfort
- changes in appearance
Replacing Your Prosthetic Eye
Prosthetic eyes should be replaced every 5 years due to tissue changes, implant migration, bacterial infiltration or breakdown of the acrylic surface. Children require more frequent replacements due to anatomical growth.
Some symptoms that may occur when one is in need of a replacement are:
- increased drainage
- dryness or discomfort
- recurring infections
- droopiness of the eyelids
- changes in appearance
Prosthetic eye wearers may occasionally experience dryness, irritation and difficulty blinking. Adverse weather, dust, wind and air-conditioning tend to evaporate moisture from the front of the prosthesis. Allergies and body changes can also contribute to dryness. CPAP machines, swimming and airline travel will impact comfort as well.
Silicone oil lubricants, such as Sil-Ophtho™, are specifically formulated for prosthetic eyes and can provide long-lasting relief.
Using artificial tears in conjunction with the oil may extend a patient’s comfort. Using 1 drop oil with 2-3 drops tears can work very well. For night time use, a gel or thicker oil lubricant can offer extended relief. Over the counter eye drops, tears and gels are also good options.
To apply a lubricant or eye drop to your prosthesis, place a drop on a clean finger and swipe across the prosthesis. Blink a few times, then close your eye and blot your skin with a tissue to remove any extra product. Apply morning and evening and throughout the day as needed.
We can recommend a variety of products to alleviate your symptoms and promote comfort.
Prosthetic eye wearers will likely get more drainage in the affected eye. Allergies, colds or sinus infections may affect the socket creating more drainage and discomfort. Treatment with antibiotics or steroids can help alleviate symptoms. During treatment, please continue to wear prosthesis to avoid tissue contraction.
See your eye doctor if you are having any concerns or issues with your tissue or socket.
All monocular patients are highly encouraged to wear protective polycarbonate lenses. Prescriptions should be balanced for overall facial symmetry and equal appearance of the prosthesis. Sport-specific protective eyewear should always be worn during activities.
- Always use clean hands when handling your prosthesis.
- Check your surroundings to make sure the prosthesis won’t be damaged or lost if it is accidentally dropped.
- Too much handling may cause irritation and excess drainage. Remove the prosthesis only as directed by your ocularist.
- Always close eyelids and wipe toward your nose. Wiping outward may dislodge the prosthesis.
- Position your chin toward a person you are talking with. Moving your head and shoulders, not just your eyes, provides a more natural appearance.
- Do not store your eye in tissue, as it could accidentally be discarded.
- Do not clean the prosthesis with any solvents, hand sanitizer or alcohol. These chemicals may damage the prosthesis and your socket.
- To remove built-up protein from your eyelids and eyelashes, soak with a warm wet tissue.