If you have recently lost an eye or are going to have a damaged eye removed in the near future, you may be wondering about prosthetic eyes. Often referred to as a glass eye, these artificial eyes are designed to give you the appearance of having both eyes. If you would like more information regarding prosthetic eyes, check out these three frequently asked questions, so you can distinguish fact from fiction.
Why Get a Fake Eye?
The number-one reason people get a fake eye is to regain their physical appearance. Unless someone really stares at your eyes when you move them, they may not even be able to tell you have a fake eye. This is particularly important for patients who are feeling self-conscious about having a fake eye because they may not feel comfortable answering questions about a missing eye.
More importantly, however, getting a fake eye ensures your face keeps its shape and proper functionality. If your eye socket is empty, it begins to close in on itself, which changes the shape of your face. Even before this begins to occur, not having an eye can make your eyelid not work properly, making it difficult to keep it closed, which can further worsen your self-esteem.
Are Prosthetic Eyes Glass?
Just about everyone has seen a joke about a glass eye popping out and bouncing around like a rubber ball. However, this is not accurate for the prosthetic eyes of today, and they are not made from glass anymore. They can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic acrylic. The most important thing is that the material is compatible with the eye socket tissues, so it doesn't irritate or damage the tissue.
Instead of being round like a ball, a fake eye is actually concave like a spoon. This allows it to fit comfortably inside the eye and be easily removed. The problem, however, is that these smaller prosthetic eyes will not fill the eye cavity like the round glass eyes of the past. Instead, an ocular implant is needed. This creates the shape of the eyeball, so the socket keeps its shape.
Is Surgery Required?
Surgery is required to get your prosthetic eye, but it performed with a local anesthetic. Before the prosthetic can be placed, the damaged or diseased eye must be removed. The most common type of eye-removal surgery is enucleation, which removes the entire eye and all the muscles that are attached to it.
Surgery is also needed to place the ocular implant, and this is usually performed at the same type that the eye is removed. During this step, a spherical implant is inserted into the eye cavity. These implants are often made from acrylic or even coral. In some cases, the orbital implant is able to be attached to the eye muscles. This allows you to move your prosthetic eye, making it more realistic. Once the implant is inserted, the entire area is sutured together. This creates the small cavity between the now-sealed eye cavity and the eyelid, which is where the prosthetic eye is placed.
If you're going to need to have your eye removed because of severe damage or disease, you shouldn't have to worry about how you'll look after the procedure. You should only have to worry about healing. Luckily, a prosthetic eye procedure can be performed in conjunction with your eye-removal surgery, making it a quick an easy way to hide the fact you ever lost your eye at all. If you would like to learn more about prosthetic eyes, contact a manufacturer in your area today.