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Over 50 Years in Seattle
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Frequently Asked Questions
 

 

 

 

What kind of results can I expect?
Results vary from person to person and are dependent on factors such as age, type of surgery and implant, and general condition of the eye socket.  See examples of actual patient results for a general idea of optimal results. However please discuss your anticipated results with the ocularist at your visit.

 

How do I care for my prosthesis?
Artificial eyes are made out of material that will craze (crack) if it comes in contact with alcohol or any chemical product containing alcohol.  The proper way of cleaning the eye is simply washing with warm water and buffing with a soft cloth.  Some users prefer to soak the eye in saline cleaning solution (similar to that used for contact solution) although if you experience significant protein buildup, you should see your Ocularist for cleaning and polishing.

How do I remove the eye?
Most patients simply pull the eyelid upwards and look down, then gently push the eye out of the socket.  There are suction cups available that can be used as well.  If using a suction cup make sure to tilt the top of the prosthesis and slide it downwards.

How is an artificial eye made?

Please follow this link to see how a prosthetic eye is fit and manufactured.

How can I achieve movement of the prosthesis?
Movement is dependent on the implant used by your ophthalmologist and on the type of surgery performed.  Some movement is usually possible depending on the condition of the socket.  Read more about hydroxyapatite implants or discuss this with your ocularist.

When should I use an eye patch?
You should use an eye patch as directed by your ophthalmologist or if you wish to conceal your socket until your prosthesis is fitted. 

Will people notice that I have an artificial eye?
Patient results vary from case to case, however many people have artificial eyes and successfully conceal this from the public (and in some cases, even from close family and friends!)  Please share any concerns you have regarding the results of your prosthesis with your ocularist.

What training does an Ocularist have?
To become a Board Approved Diplomate Ocularist (BADO), one must complete a 5 year apprenticeship with another Ocularist and comply with all the regulations and continuing education standards set by the American Society of Ocularists (ASO).  In addition, ocularists are certified by the National Examining Board of Ocularists (NEBO).   The Board Certified Ocularist (BCO) represents the highest certification of an ocularist and indicates a high degree of experience and dedication.

What material is used in making the prosthetic?
Eye prosthetics are made using dimensionally stable, medical quality PMMA Acrylic.  This is the same material used in some hip replacements and related procedures and it has been found to be very bio-compatible after being surgically inserted into the body; therefore allergies to the material are highly unlikely.

Is an artificial eye considered cosmetic by my insurance?
There are very few insurance policies that consider artificial eyes purely cosmetic since they do function as a protective device to the eye socket.  Some policies only cover a portion of the prosthesis, while others cover it at 100%.   Please contact your insurance company to obtain benefit information, or contact your Ocularist and we can obtain benefit information for you. 

What is the youngest a child can be fitted?
Patients as young as 6 months of age have been fitted with prosthesis.  It is important that infants and children be evaluated by the ophthalmologist and referred to have an artificial eye made.  If children are not fit with an eye and do require them, facial asymmetry can result as the child grows and develops.

What is a scleral shell?
A scleral shell is similar to an artificial eye with the difference being the depth of the posterior (back part).  A shell covers the eye that has not had a full enucleation (removal of the eye) and can be used with phthisical eye patients or those that have had injuries.  Your ophthalmologist will refer you to have the proper item fit.

In case of emergency or loss of the prosthetic, what information should family and friends know?
Anyone who may come in contact with the prosthesis should know not to place it in rubbing alcohol or related products.  

What do I do if I have irritation, swelling, or pain?
If you are experiencing pain that is related to the prosthesis, please contact your Ocularist immediately.  If you are experiencing general irritation, discharge, and discomfort with your eye socket please contact your ophthalmologist immediately.