The question of how often a prosthetic eye needs to be replaced is one of the most overlooked in the older artificial eye wearing generation. Why do I say this you ask! Out of all my clients I see, the older generation quite often wears an artificial eye on average for more than 20 years before replacing it. Their number one reason is that “it has not been bothering me too much”. If you think of a prosthetic eye like an old shoe, it may be comfy and familiar but it isn’t always acting in your best interests. Eye socket health is a really important thing to remember. Over time your socket does change which means your prosthesis may not fit like it used to.
Maintain your artificial eye regularly.
Although having your eye polished every four to six months is really important and helps to promote a healthy socket, this doesn’t help with the fit of the prosthesis. You may begin to notice that you are having some discharge or your socket feels dry. Perhaps your eyelid is a bit droopy or the prosthesis has begun to spin easy. These are all signs of wear and some alarm bells should start going off that you may well need to consult your favourite Ocularist to get a prosthetic eye replaced and a new artificial eye made.
I had the absolute pleasure of making Audrey a custom prosthetic eye which was a difficult task due to her implant being incorrectly fitted. She is one of my favourite clients. What a journey she has had. These photos were over two years ago when I first met her and her family. She had her eye removed due to retinoblastoma (cancer of the eye). The survival rate for retinoblastoma is 95%. However, that rate depends on several factors, including whether the cancer has spread from the eye to other parts of the body.
I did the best I could with how the implant was sitting, which was a big improvement on what she had been given to start with. I then referred her back to a oculoplastic surgeon for a revision of the implant. As I suspected a MRI showed that the muscles had been attached incorrectly which resulted in the implant being in the wrong position. Audrey recently had corrective surgery of the implant which went well and I am about to see her again for a temporary ocular prosthesis which she will wear for three months until all of the swelling has gone down, then she will get her new definitive prosthesis. EXCITING!!!!
As a parent of a child with an artificial eye I have always wanted what is best for my child in these difficult situations and that is exactly what Audrey’s parents want for her. They came to me when I was first starting out on this journey and put their full trust in me with their daughter. They told me what their concerns were and what they wanted to achieve for her, so we came up with a realistic end plan together on a rough timeline. The photos above are on the left before I had seen her and on the right the custom prosthetic eye I made her before her corrective surgery. I will have some new improved photos to put up shortly.