- What method do you use to make the prosthetic eye?
At Alamance Eye Prosthetics, we care the comfort and quality of our service, Our techniques based on Modified Impression Method developed by Mr. Lee Allen at the University of Iowa of whom I respect and honored to be one of his apprenticeship 30 years ago.
- How long will the Prosthesis last?
Acrylic plastic (methyl methacrylate resin) has intermolecular spaces large enough for 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 minutes quantities of substances with small enough molecules to pass through spaces. Very good evidence indicated 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 eye comfortable.
The correction of this problem is simply to fit a new eye made of new plastic. We recommend replacement 6 to 7 years, for some last less. Diabetics have a greater amount of acetone in their system which effect plastics and require replacement earlier
- When do I need a re-fit made of my prosthesis?
Occasionally, not all the edema is gone from the orbit at the time of an original prosthetic fitting. As the edema disappears, which may take several months to a year, the artificial eye may sink deeper in the eye socket and the upper eyelid may droop over the eye.
Whenever this becomes noticeable it would be best to add material to the eye beginning with a new impression taken on the back of the prosthesis.
As I already noted earlier, slow atrophy of fat from deep in the orbit can require the same kind of refitting as above. Occasionally, a person will have a sudden extreme loss or gain of body weight which will be accompanied by sinking back or other changes in the socket of the eye, requiring refitting of the prosthesis.
It is best to consult your eye doctor with any noticeable increase in tearing form the eye socket, with any marked loss or reduction of comfort, with excessive persistent mucoid discharge or with an easily recognized bulging out of the artificial eye. If there is an implant present, bulging could indicate extrusion or migration and should call for immediate attention.
Some problems require the cooperative efforts of both the doctor and ocularist. Call our office, at Alamance Eye Prosthetics, we are glad to answers any question you may have.
- When should I use eye drops? Are they even necessary?
Sometimes eye lubricating drops are needed. The majority of our patient do not need to use special lubrication when they have been fitted by the Modified Impression Method.
However, a small percentage of artificial eye wearers have fewer tears than normal in such cases there is considerable friction as the eyelids open and close, rubbing against the hard plastic surface. This can cause discomfort and enough disturbance of the eyelid tissues to give infection an easy start. Those patients with lack of tears in their eye sockets, “whose eyelid close completely” when they blink and when they sleep can use aqueous lubricating solutions such as Tears Renewed or Mineral Oil. There are several brands in the drug stores, which may be tried . It is not possible to make specific recommendation because personal reactions to each individual varies so much. Lubricant which is very helpful to one person is often irritating or otherwise objectionable to other persons. Each eye wearer must discover for himself which lubricant is most helpful.
For dry eye sockets where eyelids do not close during sleep, oily lubricants are needed because aqueous solution evaporate and form hard dry film across the front of the eyes which become irritating during blinking.
Your ophthalmologist will need to prescribe other specials drops for infections, allergies, etc.
My Ocularist says I have to return from time to time to have my prosthetic eye re-polish. What does this mean? Is it necessary?
We recommend that the eye be polished annually or as needed. This also affords us the opportunity to check the eye socket and judge whether the prosthesis is still fitting the tissue properly. Do not allow a dentist to re-polish the eye. Do not have any eye fitter except one we might recommend polish your eye. This is to guarantee that the shapes we have so meticulously built into your eye for proper fit are not destroyed.
- How long should it be before I am used to wearing my new prosthetic?
Most people become accustomed to the wearing of the artificial eye within a few hours and eventually many are not aware of its physical presence after 24 hours.
- How long should you wear the artificial eye before removing it for cleaning?
The answer to this common questions varies with each individual. No two people react the same way to the prosthesis. You should discover by trial on how long you can go between cleanings. Wear the prosthesis as long as it does not have material stuck to its front or back surface and it is still comfortable. Our principle is simple. “Don’t bother it unless it bothers you”.
After some experience you may be able to anticipate discomfort and clean the prosthesis just before it would begin to cause trouble.
Many of our patients wear their prosthesis for six months to a full year without removal for cleaning. It is important to re-evaluate and polish the prosthesis once a year.
Only a few of our patients need to remove the eye(s) once each day for cleaning. A few remove and wash them in the morning and in the evening. Perhaps only one in many hundreds find it necessary to take the prosthesis out during sleep.