Common Prosthetic Eye Problems and How to Take Care of Them

Getting a prosthetic eye can transform the way you live your life and boost your confidence. However, using any prosthetic comes with its unique set of challenges too. These challenges can be efficiently dealt with if you have the know-how to deal with common prosthetic eye problems. Typically, individuals with prosthetic eyes can experience discomforts like teary eyes and mucous discharge that can be easily dealt with at home if you follow our professional tips on prosthetic eye cleaning.

Common Prosthetic Eye Problems

Dry Mucous

Over time, a gradual build-up of matter can accumulate on the front and back surfaces of the eye prosthetic. This layer of matter appears either thin and transparent or thick and discolored. The presence of this layer is called mucous, and it can make the surface of your prosthetic eye rough and irritate the tissue underneath the eyelid with every blink. The apparent symptoms of dry mucous buildup can be an itching or a scratching sensation, or an inability to completely close your eyes while sleeping and waking up with a partially dried film of matter on the front of your prosthesis.
The best way to deal with this issue is to visit your certified ocularist every 6 (six) months to polish the prosthesis. If you plan on cleaning the prosthetic eye yourself, you can do so by using a mild soap or baby shampoo to rinse with water.

Dry or Teary Eyes

The eye socket with a prosthetic eye can sometimes produce an abnormal amount of tears, while for other people, the socket can become extremely dry. Since everyone has varying anatomy, the post-surgery effects and reactions to a prosthetic eye may be different. Furthermore, a dry or teary eye can also be a result of changing seasons or not having your eyes professionally cleaned. The reason for an abnormal amount of tear production can be your eye socket trying to accommodate or adjust to your prosthetic eye. On the contrary, a dry socket can result from having your tear ducts blocked or absent.
While teary eyes can be fixed by having your eye socket professionally cleaned, you can deal with dry eyes by applying lubricants on the prosthetic eye, which can also considerably reduce mucous discharge.

Foreign Bodies Under Eyelids

The presence of foreign bodies under your eyelids can be a source of discomfort and irritation. However, removing any foreign bodies stuck under your eyelids is extremely easy unless you have a prosthetic eye.
If you feel like some foreign body is in your eye socket, it is crucial to clean the prosthesis using mild soap or baby shampoo. However, you should not use alcohol or any abrasive material that can corrode your prosthesis. Once the area has been cleaned, you should use the ointment on your socket that your doctor prescribes. If you still feel discomfort after cleaning the prosthesis, you must visit your ocularist as your prosthesis might require cleaning and polishing.

Viral or Bacterial Infections

The eye socket for a prosthetic eye can get easily infected. These infections can lead to mild discomfort or a yellow-greenish discharge from the condition. Typically, eye socket infections can lead to blocked tear ducts and make your eye socket dry. However, not all types of mucoid discharge is a sign of a socket infection, as the eye socket tends to have some form of discharge when it is adjusting to the prosthesis.
If you are seeing additional signs of a bacterial or viral infection inside your eye socket, it is crucial to give your doctor a visit. They can give you a diagnosis and get you started on prescriptions to reduce the infection and prevent it in the future.

Allergic Reactions

Suffering from mild allergies in the eye socket tissue is common for prosthetic eye users. These allergies can be a result of dust, animal hair, pollen, and other particulate matter. Typically an allergy will lead to conjunctivitis as a result of external factors, as a fully cured prosthetic eye does not cause any allergic reactions.
If you suspect an allergy in your eye socket, you must immediately rush to your ophthalmologist.

The Bottom Line

Although having a prosthetic eye can significantly boost your confidence, proper care must be taken of the prosthesis, or there can be severe side effects. You can largely avoid most of these issues by maintaining certain hygiene standards when It comes to your prosthetic and having the know-how to treat or deal with common prosthetic eye problems.