Frequently Asked Questions and Information.
This page will provide you with a wealth of information regarding Artificial Eyes. We will update and add information on a regular basis so that you may obtain helpful and accurate information regarding the fitting and maintenance of an Artificial Eye.
How do we manage fitting an Artificial Eye after eye loss due to Retinoblastoma ?
The loss of an eye from Retinoblastoma is devastating not only to the infant or toddler patient but also to the rest of the family. Our experience in Artificial Eye Fitting for these young patients is unsurpassed. We have a 30+ year history of following individual patients from the time of enucleation to adulthood. Our personal treatment techniques of these precious children were developed under the guidance of the late Nancy Mansfield, PhD D, former president of the Institute for Families at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.
Our goal is to provide the highest quality artificial eye while not having the patient and family members subject to a traumatic experience. We feel this is one of our greatest successes at Ocular Prosthetics,Inc. With our experience in fitting numerous cases over the years we have developed into a renouned center for fitting retinoblastoma survivors. Each patient is delicately cared for with a gentle touch while we focus on perfectly matching the other eye.
For more information about artificial eyes for retinoblastoma survivors contact Stephen Haddad BCO directly at Ocular Prosthetics, Inc.
Will my prosthetic eye move with the other eye?
In most cases your prosthetic eye will move. The amount of movement your prosthetic eye will have depends on several factors involving your pre-operative condition and techniques used in surgery. The Ophthalmologist constructs the eye socket in a method which transfers movement to the artificial eye. This is done by placing an orbital implant into the eye socket upon the time of enucleation ( the surgical removal of an eye ).
What is an Orbital Implant?
The orbital implant is a spherical device approximately 18-20 mm in diameter. It comes in various materials, the 2 most common being Porous Polyethelyne and Hydroxy-Appatite, the latter made from sea coral.
During the operative procedure to remove an eye the implant is placed into the muscle cone, and therefore replaces some of the volume lost by the surgical removal of the eye. During surgery, the Ophthalmologist re-attaches the eye muscles to the implant. It is then covered with a layer of natural conjunctival tissue. When prosthesis is eventually fit over the implant the movement of the implant is transferred to the artificial eye.The amount of movement transferred to the artificial eye will vary from from person to person. There is an optional peg attachment system for artificial eyes which offers more movement. Feel free to contact Stephen Haddad BCO for a consultation to learn more about this advanced movement for artificial eyes.
What is a Digital Iris ?
The digital Iris has been available since 1998. After much research and testing by Ocularists throughout the nation less than 1% choose to use a digital Iris technique because it is difficult to acheive an exact match. Our expertise and experience agrees that for good reason a hand painted Iris by an experienced master Ocularist offers a natural, soft, and lifelike appearance. The natural appearance of a hand -painted eye is even more beautiful when using a transparent disc with a recessed pupil. This is a timeless art form that has been perfected at our office.
We also offer a digital iris used in combination with our proprietary transparent beveled iris disc. This technique allows us to hand embelish the digital image of the iris, thereby producing more depth and the most natural artificial eye available today!
The border of your iris (limbus) which joins the sclera is one of the most influential aspects of how well an artificial eye matches. If too dark, the eye will appear harsh. If too light, you will look washed out. matching this by hand gives an experienced Ocularist the ability to create an exact match while creating a lifelike appearance. There are many factors involved in Iris duplication that require an Ocularist to master hand painting in addition to using a digital iris.
Not all digital irises or hand-painted irises are the same. Our unique hand-painting on multiple layers using a clear transparent disc with a peripheral bevel creates the most beautiful and natural artificial eye available today!!! For more information call Stephen Haddad BCO,Ocularist.
What is a Hydroxyappatite Implant and Peg Attachment?
With certain implants such as the Hydroxyappatite Implant made from sea coral, an optional titanium peg system may be utilized several months following the surgery. This procedure provides a direct peg attachment, connecting the prosthesis directly to the implant, providing even more movement to your artificial eye. Our Board Certified Ocularists (BCO) have extensive experience in peg attachment design and fitting dating back to the first acrylic peg system.
Stephen Haddad BCO, Beverly Hoffman BCO, and Tania Faulds BCO have refined a unique snap-in peg system that eliminates problems with unwanted disconnection. Our peg system provides the most natural prosthetic eye movement available with a most secure and comfortable feeling at all times.
The advantages and disadvantages of this procedure can be discussed further with your Ocularist and Ophthalmologist. It is important to know that the amount of movement varies from person to person depending on many other related factors.
Will the socket still have normal tear flow?
Enucleation will not effect the basic function of the orbit's lacrimal gland, which produces tears. However, the eye socket is naturally lined with mucous membrane, similar to the inside of your mouth, which produces much fluid.
The prosthesis is a hard non-absorbing acrylic that doesn't hold the lubrication very easily. This combination of factors can sometimes cause an over flow of tears, especially in children.
Tearing and mucous is greatly effected by environment. A day at the beach or at the baseball field may cause excess tearing from the eye socket being irritated. This can be managed with irrigation and lubricating drops. It is also normal for one to experience an increase of mucous discharge when suffering from a cold or flu.
Should I wear protective eyewear?
It is strongly recommended that you wear a pair of spectacles with polycarbonate (shatter proof) lenses. Even if no visual correction is required in the other eye, these safety spectacles will provide protection to the remaining eye in the event of a facial injury.
Will I be able to play sports while wearing an ocular prosthesis?
Wearing a prosthesis should not limit your involvement in almost any sport. However, when possible, sport-specific safety goggles should be worn. Also please consult your Ophthalmologist for advice regarding sports with monocular vision.
When swimming it is important to either keep your eyelids closed when underwater or wear swim goggles.
How often should I remove my eye prosthesis?
In the case of enucleation, routine removal of an ocular prosthesis is not recommended. As long as the prosthesis remains comfortable, it should not be removed. However, the prosthesis may accumulate residual mucous secretion deposits on its surface. These deposits warrant removal and cleaning. After following the recommended cleaning procedure, reinsert the prosthesis.
It is important to minimize the frequency of removal. This seems to result in fewer problems with mucous discharge. Most people are able to keep the prosthesis in place until the next scheduled visit with the Ocularist. This can be for as long as six months. Your Ocularist and Ophthalmologist will help you decide an appropriate care plan.
How do I remove and Clean my prosthesis?
To remove a prosthesis you should use a suction rod, available from your Ocularist. To remove it, squeeze the suction rod and place the tip onto the surface of the prosthesis. Next, release to create suction. Depress the lower eyelid and gently pull out the prosthesis with the suction rod. You may clean the prosthesis with any hard or gas permeable contact lens cleaning solution. Simply apply the cleaner to all the surfaces and rub it vigorously with your fingertips. Then rinse well with warm water. Do not clean the prosthesis with rubbing alcohol or any other chemical solvents. These cleaners will penetrate and destroy the plastic. Also, do not boil or heat sterilize an ocular prosthesis.
It is important to keep the eyelashes free or dried mucous deposits. If this occurs, a mixture of warm water and Johnson's Baby Shampoo applied with a cotton swab will help remove this build-up from the lashes. You may also soak the artificial eye in 3% Hydrogen Peroxide for 3-4 hours to loosen dried mucous deposits from the surface. Always rinse the prosthesis well before reinserting. Rinsing with tap water is acceptable. You can contact our office for a free print-out which has a full description and pictures of how to remove your prosthetic eye.
Should I lubricate my Artificial Eye?
Not all wearers will need to lubricate their artificial eye, especially children. However, if one is not able to fully close their eyelids over the prosthesis, the use of artificial tears or other lubricants may be indicated. The need for lubricants varies with each individual. It is effected by age, type of job, the humidity level of where one lives and other health factors. For more information contact Stephen Haddad BCO by email; Haddadbco@ocularpro.com.
Your Ocularist or Ophthalmologist will make recommendations regarding the use of lubricants.
How often should I replace my prosthesis?
The integrity of the acrylic material of an ocular prosthesis made at Ocular Prosthetics, Inc. will last for at least ten years. However, most people will need a replacement at approximately 5 years due to settlement of soft tissue in the eye socket. If you wear a scleral shell type prosthetic eye over a residual blind eye, the need for a replacement will depend on the future settlement of the residual blind eye. This varies from person to person. There are cases where very little settlement occurs and you are able to keep the same shell for many years. In other cases there can be an aggressive amount of settlement. This will indicate the need for replacement at a sooner date in time. From my 30+ years of experience I can evaluate your situation and I will be able to give you a fairly accurate idea of what you might expect in regard to future replacements....Stephen Haddad BCO.