Frequently Asked Questions
What material is used in making the eye?
They are made using dimensionally stable, medical quality PMMA (Acrylic). This is the same material used in some hip replacements (and related procedures) and the material is compatible with being surgically inserted into the body, therefore allergies to the material are highly unlikely.
How long have artificial eyes been around?
Artificial eye-making has been practiced since ancient times. The first ocular prostheses were made by Roman and Egyptian priests as early as the fifth century B.C. In those days, artificial eyes were made of painted clay attached to cloth and worn outside the socket. It took many centuries for the first in-socket artificial eyes to be developed. At first, these were made of gold with colored enamel. Then, in the later part of the sixteenth century, the Venetians started making artificial eyes out of glass. These early glass eyes were crude, uncomfortable to wear, and very fragile. Even so, the Venetians continued making them and kept their methods secret until the end of the eighteenth century. After that, the center for artificial eye making shifted to Paris for a time; but by the mid-nineteenth century, German glass blowers had developed superior techniques, and the center for glass eye making moved to Germany Shortly thereafter, glass eye making was introduced in the United States. During World War II, the imported German glass used for glass prostheses became unavailable in this country. As a result of this shortage, the U.S. Government, in conjunction with a number of American firms, popularized the techniques for making artificial eyes out of acrylic plastic. The popularity of this method has continued to increase over the years, and today the vast majority of patients wear ocular prostheses made of acrylic.
How are prostheses attached?
Medical adhesives and tapes are common means of attachment. Most finger prostheses are suction retained and do not require adhesive.
What is the difference between a Stock eye and custom made one ?
Stockor ready-made ocular prostheses are mass-produced. Since a, stock eye is not made for any particular person, it doesnot fit any particular patient. A customocular prosthesis, on the other hand, is made by your ocularist to fit you and you alone.How many appointments are required to obtain prosthesis?In order for prosthesis to successfully create the illusion of life and fit correctly and comfortably, all details must be sensitively replicated. The process requires several patient visits as well as extensive laboratory work. Typically, three to five appointments are needed to complete a custom-designed prosthesis. The appointments vary from one to four hours depending on the procedures being performed. Other facial prostheses incorporate the latest technology and are retained by magnets or clips, which connect to bone-anchored implants. Candidates for this treatment must first undergo surgery to place the implants.
How often do you have to see an ocularist?
The ocular prosthesis, like hard contact lenses, needs to be polished regularly in order to restore the acrylic finish and insure the health of the surrounding tissues. It is generally recommended that infants under 3 years of age be seen every 3 months; patients under 9 twice yearly, and all other patients at least once a year.
How will I adjust to wearing prosthesis?
Becoming accustomed to your prosthesis will take time and a positive attitude. Patients who seem most satisfied with their prostheses tell us that its greatest benefit is that it helps them feel inconspicuous in crowds. Because everyone has different perceptions of what prosthesis can do for them, we cannot guarantee that your expectations will be met. Our clinical staff encourages you to openly discuss any concerns you may have in adjusting to your new prosthesis. We can also arrange for you to speak with one of our patients who wear prosthesis.