Although unfortunate, there are several reasons for which one might need an artificial eye. But with so many different types of artificial eyes available, choosing the right one can be tricky. In this blog, we will try to address this issue. But before that, let’s talk about the different reasons one might need an artificial eye.
Why does a person need a custom prosthetic eye?
There are several reasons why one can need a prosthetic eye. Generally, the need arises owing to damage to the natural eye from injury, surgery, disease, or congenital reasons. Let’s explore further.
Injuries to the eye can happen at any age due to several different reasons. Injuries can happen while driving, playing outside, or even at home. Moreover, depending on the severity of the injury, one may need to remove or reconstruct the eye. You will also need a custom prosthetic eye at some point during the process.
The artificial eye you should opt for from the different types of prosthetic eyes available depends on several factors. We will talk about them and suggest the one you should opt for in the next section.
Different types of ocular diseases might impact the eyes of people of different ages. The list includes retinoblastoma, microphthalmia, phthisis bulbi, etc. Damages to the eye caused by any of the above diseases might create the need for getting an artificial eye.
Sometimes the surgeon might require to remove a part of the eye as a remedy for specific diseases or injuries. The process of removing a part of the eye is evisceration, and that of removing the entire eye, excluding the eye muscles, is enucleation.
An artificial eye can help restore the orbit to normal shape and volume after the surgeon removes a part of or the entire eye.
Some people suffer from congenital eye issues right from birth. They can either suffer from blindness or have improperly aligned eyeballs.
Irrespective of the particular issue one suffers from, a person might require an artificial eye to cover the disfigured eye. The need for having an artificial eye can be due to appearance or health reasons. Anyways, let’s now talk about the various types of artificial eyes available before discussing the one you need.
Types of Artificial Eyes
Here are the varied kinds of artificial eyes available.
A conformer is one of the types of eyes implants that can act as a temporary cover for the eyes after surgery. It can act as a transitory arrangement before you get a more permanent custom prosthetic eye later. After eye surgery, the eye socket needs to be protected and requires time for healing.
It is also important to enable the eyelids so that they can function properly. This is where a conformer can help by filling the appropriate shape of the eyeball-thereby preventing the eyelids from losing their forms.
A prosthetic eye is one of the prominent kinds of artificial eyes made from acrylic. This incredible blend of art and science is meant to resemble your natural eye. You can connect with a specialist for this purpose to design your custom prosthetic eyes that fit your eye sockets.
The artificial eye thus developed allows your eyelids and tear ducts to function normally. The prosthetic eye is worn after your eye has healed from the surgery due to the use of a conformer.
In case your eyes are disfigured and not completely damaged, what you need is a scleral shell. A scleral shell is another of the several types of prosthetic eyes that can help restore the natural appearance of the eye.
It is also made from acrylic fiber but is much thinner compared to the prosthetic eye. Therefore, unlike the prosthetic eye, it can easily fit on top of your existing deformed eye. You can wear a scleral shell throughout the day, and it can look like the natural eye.
Even thinner than the scleral shell, these artificial eyes are perfect for those whose natural eyes are almost intact.
A maxillofacial or orbital prosthetic is quite large and made of silicone. They can help restore the appearance of an eyelid and socket volume after a person goes through exenteration. Experts can shape and customize this type of artificial eye to make them fit your orbital prosthetics entirely.
What type of artificial eye should you opt for?
As said in the above paragraphs, there are different types of artificial eyes. An experienced ocularist can suggest the right one for you, depending on your situation. You might opt for a conformer as a stop-gap measure before getting the permanent artificial eye.
For more details, always remember to connect with an expert.