Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions and answers for current and prospective patients.

What kind of results can I expect?

Results vary from person to person and are dependent on factors such as age, type of surgery/implant, and general condition of the eye socket. See examples of actual patient results for a general idea of optimal results, however please discuss your anticipated results with the ocularist at your visit.

Care and preservation of a prosthesis?

Artificial eyes are made out of material that will dissolve if it comes in contact with alcohol or any chemical product containing alcohol. The proper way of cleaning the eye is simply with warm water and soap. Some users prefer to soak the eye in saline cleaning solution (similar to that used for contact solution) although if you experience significant protein buildup, you should see your ocularist for cleaning/polishing.

How do I remove the eye?

Most patients simply pull the eyelid upwards and look down, then gently push the eye out of the socket. There are suction cups available that can be used as well. If using a suction cup make sure to tilt the top of the prosthesis and slide it downwards.

How can I achieve movement of the prosthesis?

Movement is achieved using implants that are surgically implanted by your opthalmologist. Some movement is possible depending on the condition of the socket. Read more about hydroxyapatite implants or discuss this with your ocularist.

When should I use an eye patch?

You should use an eye patch as directed by your opthalmologist or if you wish to conceal your socket until your prosthesis is fitted.

Will people notice that I have an artificial eye?

Patient results vary from case to case, however many people have artificial eyes and successfully conceal this from the public (and in some cases, even from close family and friends!) Please share any concerns you have regarding the results of your prosthesis with your ocularist.

What training does an Ocularist have?

To become a Board Certified Ocularist (BCO), one must complete a 5 year apprenticeship with another Ocularist and comply with all the regulations and continuing education standards set by the ASO.

What material is used in making the eye?

They are made using dimensionally stable, medical quality PMMA (Acrylic). This is the same material used in some hip replacements (and related procedures) and the material is compatible with being surgically inserted into the body, therefore allergies to the material are highly unlikely.

Is an artificial eye considered cosmetic by my insurance?

There are very few insurance policies that consider artificial eyes purely cosmetic since they do function as a protective device to the eye socket. Some policies only cover a portion of the prosthesis, while others cover it 100%. Please contact your insurance company to obtain benefit information, or contact your ocularist and we can obtain benefits information for you.

What is the youngest a child can be fitted?

Patients as young as 6 months of age have been fitted with prosthesis. It is important that infants and children be evaluated by the opthalmologist and referred to have an artificial eye made. If children are not fitted with an eye and do require them, facial asymmetry can result as the child grows and develops.

What is a scleral shell?

A scleral shell is similar to an artificial eye with the difference being the depth of the posterior (back part). A shell covers the eye that has not had a full enucleation (removal of the eye) and can be used with phtisical eye patients or those that have had injuries. Your ophthalmologist will refer you to have the proper item fit.

What information should my family and friends know? (in case of emergency or loss of the eye)

Anyone who may come in contact with the prosthesis should know not to place it in rubbing alcohol or related products.

What do I do if I have irritation, swelling, or pain?

If you are experiencing pain that is related to the prosthesis, please contact your ocularist immediately. If you are experiencing general irritation, discharge, and discomfort with your eye socket please contact your opthalmologist immediately.