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The question of how often a prosthetic eye needs to be replaced is one of the most overlooked and underrated in our industry. Out of all my clients I see, the older generation quite often wears an artificial eye on average for more than 15 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 like a set of dentures, as we age our body changes thus the need for replacement. The eye prosthesis itself will go on for years without changing if it is well looked after.

Eye socket health is a very important thing to remember.

Over time your socket changes just as our mouth does. This means your prosthesis may not fit like it used to and it may start causing irritation and discharge.

Oculus Prosthetics make custom prosthetic eyes tailored to patient requirements

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, you cannot stop there. The best way to ensure you maintain a healthy socket and implant is to have the prosthesis replaced every three to five years.

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 within the socket.

These are all signs that you are due for a replacement. You will need to consult your favourite Ocularist to get a new prosthetic eye made.

On average in adults you will need a new artificial eye replaced every three to five years

With young children it is a quite a bit different. A new born could potentially need a new expander or conformer every four to six weeks depending on their condition and growth rate. This slows down as they get older and is dependant on how early you want to intervene. I personally feel from my own experiences with my daughter that the earlier the better when it comes to intervention with kids.

Key things to remember:

  • Get your artificial eye polished every four to six months to promote a healthy socket and motility of the prosthesis.
  • Look at replacing your artificial eye every three to five years depending on how things are tracking with the comfort and health of your socket.
  • Make 12 monthly appointments to see your ophthalmologist in regard to your general socket and implant health

Article updated May 2021

Dwayne Collins

Ocularist Dwayne Collins specialises in adult and pediatric prosthetic eyes. Dwayne knows firsthand the challenges individuals and families face as a result of eye injury or loss. Read More


  • James Martin says:

    I have plastic artificial eye which I consider a good match. However it probably needs polishing. Every night I leave it soaking in water, but have never had it professionally cleaned. Can you give me some details..? Eg can and do you do this? What is the cost? Any other info that you consider relevant

    • Dwayne Collins says:

      Hello James. You are best to have the prosthesis polished every four to six months. This helps promote a healthy socket and maintain the prosthesis. We charge $60 for a polish.

  • Birhanu abegaz says:

    I need replacement

  • Jon Garvey says:

    Hi. My left eye was removed in 2004, due to trauma to the face and eye from a thrown bottle.
    I never looked up any info on caring for my eye. My Dr. Passed away , so it’s been years since I had it polished etc. During hurricane Ian I was hit in the face by something? Trying to get out to my car. I lost the prosthetic eye and 2 veneers. So instead of looking up Dr’s I haven’t, seems alot to do, or that’s and excuse because of embarrassment.
    I just read that I should never take the eye out for any long period. Because infection and growth to fill in the eye socket. I’ve noticed the growth. I’ve been lucky so far not to have any infection that I know of. I have insurance , that’s not a problem. I’m wondering can I be fitted for a new one? Or am I stuck wearing sunglasses for the rest of this life? Not sure if I’m leaving this on the right post, any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
    Jon Garvey.

  • Jon Garvey says:

    I apologise for the last post, I wouldn’t be able to make a appointment, just read where your located. I’m in Florida, , I would still like any info you could give me on the topic of, did I wait to long to get one made. Ty so much

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