Prosthetics Eye Quality
Our patients who come to us at Alamance Eye Prosthetic, are referred by their doctors, and ophthalmologist who know the finest quality of my work.

At Alamance Eye Prosthetic our artificial eye(s) are made of the quality acrylic plastic (METHYL METHACRYLATE RESIN) which is the same material used in the making of dentures as well as in plastic eye(s) since 1939. We make sure no irritating substances can be present in the finished prosthesis by the choice of material and handling.

The shape of the eye(s) has been fitted to the shape of the patient’s eye socket by the MODIFIED IMPRESSION METHOD for your best possible comfort, eye movement and life-like appearance. It has been colored by special method to match as accurately as possible the color and character of the companion eye and to give the appearance of living tissue.

Fabricating Process for the Prosthetic Eye
We require that adequate healing take place before fitting. Schedule permitting, we fit the prosthesis at seven to eight weeks after surgery.

Using alginate, we take an impression of the eye socket. Initially, the material has a consistency similar to the white of a hard-boiled egg. With no discomfort to the patient, the alginate sets up in one to two minutes.

After removal from the socket, the impression is encased in dental stone, which is very similar to plaster of paris. The impression material is then removed from the mold and hot wax is poured into the mold and is allowed to cool and harden. What we obtain is a wax piece that constitutes a pattern for the prosthetic eye. The wax allows us to make changes for comfort as well as opening eyelids to match the companion eye.

A iris button, similar to the pupil, iris, and cornea of the front of the eye is chosen and built in the wax pattern. This can be adjusted in order to give the proper direction of gaze. This portion of the proceedings usually takes one to two hours with the patient available for trial fittings so as to give the desired prominence to the artificial eye and create the proper opening and contour of the eyelids.

When satisfied with the wax pattern, we make a final mold of dental stone around it in a brass flask. The pattern is then removed and after placing the iris button back in the mold exactly in the same position, we pack a dough of white plastic into the mold and process it by heated water bath until it has cured. This is the beginning of the final prosthesis.

A thin layer of plastic is ground, filed and sanded from the front surface of the eye. We make a painting shell by placing a clear polyethylene sheet between the artificial eye and a new layer of clear plastic, which then must be cured. The painting lens affords us a way of judging the color of the prosthesis with all optical effects present, while the patient wears the prosthesis. When placed over the surface of the eye, the painting lens will bring the form back to the shape of the original wax pattern.

The coloring of the artificial eye is done with the greatest of care to match the companion eye in current appearance of the living tissue. The patient must be present for this part for this part of the procedure. At intervals, the painted prosthesis can be placed in the socket. We can then judge the color with all illusions present and then alter colors as desired until completely satisfied. Once the eye is completed there can be adjustments of the fit and painting if necessary. The procedure takes 1 day to complete, with difficult socket or swelling sometimes it takes another day longer. This same method is applied to fitting the corneal scleral shells.

Prosthetic Eye Care
Getting Used to the Prosthesis

Most patients get used to wearing the prosthesis in a few hours. In a few days, they are not even aware of its physical presence. In some cases, patients who lack tears to lubricate the eye will need some type of artificial lubricant like Vitamin E Oil with Mineral Oil is the best for the money or an ocular ointment such as DURATERS or LACRALUBE

To Remove The Prosthesis from the Eye Socket

1. Wash and rinse hands thoroughly for 30 seconds

2. Face mirror (if this is over a lavatory, place a towel over all hard surfaces and cover the sink drainage) Tilt the head slightly downward while looking at the artificial eye in the mirror, this rotates the prosthesis into a favorable position for removal. Hold on hand, palm upward and heel against the mouth, below the eye socket to catch the prosthesis if it comes out suddenly.

3. Place the forefinger of the other hand against the middle of the lower lid, close to the eyelashes and parallel to them. Press the lower lid tissue backward until the lid margin goes under the lower edge of the artificial eye. At the same time, pull the finger sideways toward the cheekbone to stretch the lid margin under the bottom edge of the prosthesis, exposing it to view. The effect will be like an edge of a button hole.

4. If the artificial eye does not slide out of the socket by itself the cupped hand may be taken away from the cheek and its forefinger and thumb used to grasp the prosthesis and rock and pull gently form under the lid. After removal, the eye should be rinsed or washed, be careful not to drop it down any open drain.

Prosthetic Eye Discomfort
Patients who are perfectly comfortable in the beginning can become uncomfortable after a period of time. There are several conditions of which can cause these discomfort.

Rough-Build Up of Dry Mucous on the eye
Some patient’s eyelids do not close completely over their prosthesis during sleep will have partially dried film of “matter” on the front of the eye when they wake up in the morning.

Sometimes this can be cleared off without removing the eye by rubbing it with rolled up tip of good quality facial tissue moistened with warm water. Never use any kind of cloth for the reasons already given in that it can dull the surfaces of the eye.

Those with eyelids that close completely can have a very slow build-up of matter which can start as a thin film that can hardly be seen.

This can make the surface of the eye just rough enough to irritate the underside of the eyelids as they blink. One should think of the possible presence of such a film if the eye socket is irritated with scratching, burning or itching sensation.

The Prosthetic eye should be removed and carefully, but thoroughly, cleaned in such instances; in the manner describe earlier.

Foreign Bodies Under The Eyelids
An eyelash can come loose or be broken off and be carried into the socket while replacing the eye. Dust or larger particles can blow into the eye socket. All can cause discomfort requiring removal and cleaning.

Loss Of Surface Polish Or Deeper Scratches On the Prosthesis
Dust in the air can get into the tear film and the scrubbing action of the eyelids during blinking can reduce the polish of the surface of the plastic. Accidental scratching of the front surface, even while the eyes are in the socket, has happened to many persons. Dropping the eye onto hard, rough surfaces can also causes rather deep scratches. Both these flaws can cause irritation to the underside of the eyelids.The eyes must be re-polished to correct the problem. We recommend that prosthesis be polished once a year or twice for some to maintain comfort to the eye socket tissues and reduce any discharge, if present.

Discomfort Accompanying Common Colds
With any common cold there may be discomfort, mattering and discharge from the socket of the artificial eye while the companion eye does not seem to be affected.

Some persons have reported that removing the eye and washing it once each day during the period of the cold reduce the discomfort and discharge.

Bacterial and Viral Infections
You must remember that the socket tissues around the prosthetic eye can become infected at least as easily as the companion eye. Discomfort and yellow-greenish discharge might indicate infection. Your tear duct (drainage) may be closed. Your ophthalmologist must be consulted in such instances.

Allergic Reaction to Various Substances
Many persons have mild allergies in the surface tissues of their living eyes without being aware of any discomfort. Allergies in the eye can be to such things as house dust, animal hair, plant pollens, and foods.

In our experience, no one has been allergic to a completely cured plastic eye which has been fabricated of pure, medical grade acrylic. (On the other hand, incompletely cured plastic eyes and eyes made of “cold-cure” acrylic can very definitely cause trouble in the socket.) While we cannot guarantee that one person in many hundred thousand and thoroughly cured plastic eye, we can assure you that the chance is extremely remote.

Therefore, if an allergy of some king is suspected, your ophthalmologist and possibly an allergist should be consulted.

Empty Space Where “Stale” Tears Can Collect
The eye sockets of most persons change in contour slowly over a long period of time. Probably due to the effects of the Enucleation, ageing and fat atrophies from the depths of the orbit. This increases the depth of the eye socket and pulls the back surface into new shapes which no longer fit the contours of the previously well fitted prosthesis. This causes pockets of space between the eye and the tissues. These can fill with tears which can lie there and become “stale”. Salts leach out of the tears and irritate the tissues which, in turn, produce mucoid material. In extreme cases, where the spaces are large, tears and mucous can spill out suddenly over the eyelid onto the face, resulting in an embarrassing occurrence.

Probable Toxic Substances Within An “Old” Prosthetic Eye; A Development After A long Period Of Time
Acrylic plastic (METHYL METHACRYLATE RESIN) has intermolecular spaces large enough for the passage of water molecules. While the plastic eye is being bathed in the tear film, it takes up water very slowly. The water moves continually through the plastic carrying with it minute quantities of substances with small enough molecules to pass through the spaces. Very probably viruses and some bacteria can get into the eye. Very good evidence indicates that proteins collect in the plastic and that these cause irritation in the eye socket. For some persons, polishing or even refitting will not make such eyes comfortable.

The correction of this problem is simply to fit a new eye made of new plastic.

Prosthetic Eye Do's and Don'ts
If you have any question or concerns, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US, we will glad to answers any concerns you may have.

Rub eye with lid closed towards nose
- If the eye bothers you so that it must be wiped or rubbed, always close the eyelids and wipe toward the nose. Wiping away from the nose can often cause the eye to fall out.
- Rub eye with lid closed towards nose
- If the eye bothers you so that it must be wiped or rubbed, always close the eyelids and wipe toward the nose. Wiping away from the nose can often cause the eye to fall out.

Prevent accidental disposal
Never leave your prosthesis in a piece of facial tissue. Several left in this way for just a minutes have been picked up and thrown away. Some have been burned with the waste papers.

Water Sport Safety
If you swim, dive or water ski, either wear a protective patch or swimming goggles-or remove the eye and store it safely. More eyes have been lost during these sports than in any other way. Cold weather, dry weather and wind tend to make prosthetic eye uncomfortable. Some lubrication eye drops may reduce or relieve the discomfort.

Keep away from solvents
Never expose the prosthetic eye in any way to alcohol, ether chloroform, hair sprays or any other solvents. These can damage the plastic beyond repair.

Remove prosthesis for surgery
Be sure to remove the prosthesis before having any surgery, anesthetics can damage the surface of the plastic, requiring expensive reprocessing or even replacement with a new eye.

Practice extreme cleanliness
Always practice extreme cleanliness when handling your prosthetic eye. If your eye should happen to fall out, be sure to rinse it thoroughly and then wash it with mild soap and water before reinserting it to your eye socket.

When to polish the prosthesis
Have your eye checked and polished once a year or twice for some patient to ensure best condition. Do not let anyone other than us or someone we recommend, polish your artificial eye. Polishing compounds used by many eye fitters, dentists, opticians and others will not polish as highly as necessary for the greatest comfort. Also, the technician must take care not to change the contours of the eye, which might result in a poor fit. Few understand the importance of the shapes which are achieved in the modified impression method we use.

Wear protective glasses
Wear your protective glasses from the minutes you have finished washing our face in the morning until you go to bed each night. Even when you are alone and least expecting it, an object could fly at your remaining eye. You no longer have a spare eye. Protect the one you have.

Eye Check-Up
Have your ophthalmologist check your good eye at least once a year. As long as you are perfectly comfortable and the eye still looks fine, do not do anything between yearly check-ups and polishing. Except for slowly changing appearance, which you might not be aware of, if your eye needs care, it will let you know.

Never put the prosthetic eye in your mouth because it can cause choking and may lead to death -- James W. Noel, Jr.