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Types Of Ocular Prosthesis Aug 02

By Carolina Eye Prosthetics

The process of replacing a damaged eye has come a long way since the old-fashioned glass eye. In fact, because modern eye replacements are no longer made of glass, the term glass eye is obsolete. Ocular prosthesis are now made of methyl methacrylate, a high quality medical-grade acrylic. In fact there are several types from which to choose according to the individual needs of the patient.

The majority of people require an orbital implant to replace the inner eye following its removal during a surgery called an enucleation. After the orbital implant is in place, a prosthetic is created by an ocularist to match the companion eye. This prosthetic is not round as one might expect, but instead, since it covers an existing orbital implant, the artificial eye is a convex shell that fits in between the orbital implant and the eye lid.


When an enucleation is not required, but instead the inner eye is removed during a surgery called an evisceration, the white of the eye, or sclera, is left in tact. In this case the orbital implant is not needed and the sclera can be covered with an artificial eye called a scleral shell. A scleral shell is a much thinner than the other type of ocular prosthetic. Like a regular ocular prosthetic, the scleral shell is crafted by an ocularist to match the companion eye. In some cases, a scleral shell can be worn to cover a damaged eye that does not require removal in order to create a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Typically, either an artificial eye or a scleral shell can meet the needs of most adults requiring an ocular prosthesis but, when young children require an artificial eye due to the removal of the natural eye as a result of disease or injury, it is often more practical to use a conformer rather than an artificial eye during stages of rapid growth. As a childs face grows and changes, it is necessary to change the prosthetic frequently to stimulate the growth of the bones and tissues of the eye socket in order to achieve a more natural appearance as an adult. Because conformers are less expensive to create, they can be replaced more frequently. Conformers are made from clear plastic and should be exchanged for increasingly larger sizes every four to eight weeks as the childs face grows. In cases where a child is born with a small eye orbit, conformers can be used to stretch the eye socket so that an artificial eye can be worn in the future.

All of these types of ocular prosthesis, including conformers, can be obtained by contacting an ocularist. With the exception of the clear plastic conformers, ocularists craft the ocular prosthetic to be a match to the remaining natural eye. Ocularists not only match the natural eye in appearance, but they create a prosthetic that conforms to the eye socket so that the shape and size of the eye socket is preserved, giving the artificial eye a natural appearance. When the ocular prosthetic is created by a highly skilled ocularist, the artificial eye can so closely match the natural eye that the difference is imperceptible.

About the Author:

Carolina Eye Prosthetics

provides hand-crafted and hand-painted prosthetic eyes. With two North Carolina locations their ocularists serve patients in need of artificial eyes. For more information about Carolina Eye Prosthetics visit

or call 1-877-763-9393.


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