What is The Latest Regarding Artificial Eyes?
The loss of an eye presents challenges, but technology is evolving to offer people greater hope than ever to recreate a natural appearance.
16:31 08 December 2021
The loss of an eye is upsetting and presents challenges, but technology is evolving to offer people greater hope than ever to recreate a natural appearance.
Please continue reading to discover some of the most recent scientific advances in artificial eye technology.
What is an Artificial Eye?
An artificial eye, also called a prosthetic eye, can enhance the physical appearance of anyone who’s lost an eye to disease or injury. Artificial eyes were often called “glass eyes” in the past, but the replacement isn’t a fully functioning eye.
In reality, it’s a shell that resembles an eye and protects delicate structures within the eye socket. The artificial eye includes the following:
- A white, oval, outer shell that resembles a natural eye as closely as possible
- A central section of the outer shell that looks like the pupil and iris
Most surgeons recommend placing an artificial eye after the natural eye has been removed because of disease or injury. A prosthetic eye makes you look better; it also helps your eyelid function properly.
How an Eye is Removed
Whether you suffered glaucoma, an accident, an infection, or an eye tumor, there are two methods to remove the damaged eye. The surgery your health care provider performs will dictate the type of artificial eye you end up getting:
- Enucleation: The whole eye is taken out of the eye socket.
- Evisceration: The jelly-like fluid inside the eye is removed, which is done through a tiny incision in the front, but the original eye tissues in the socket and outer eye are preserved.
Your surgeon will evaluate your eye and decide which method is best for you. The choice will depend on the type of eye problem and how much damage the eye has sustained.
Artificial Eye Composition
There was a time when an artificial eye was indeed made of glass and round. Today, most artificial eyes are constructed of plastic and more precisely oval-shaped, to approximate a real eye.
The artificial eye is fitted over an implant that is another hard, oval device embedded in the deeper eye tissue.
Benefits of Artificial Eye
A prosthetic eye won’t restore your sight on that side, but it will improve how others perceive you. The eyes are what many people notice first. Many patients find that receiving an implant offers the following benefits:
- Enhances your appearance, so you don’t suffer unwanted attention
- Maintains the shape of the remaining eye tissues
- Improves self-esteem and sense of well-being
- Keeps the eyelid in the correct position
- Fewer problems with ulceration
In addition, an artificial eye returns a sense of normality to your life so you can move ahead with confidence.
Caring For an Artificial Eye
Cleaning the outer shell is initially performed by a health-care provider. After you’ve grown accustomed to it, you may be able to do it yourself; perhaps after a month or two.
After you’ve taken the prosthetic eye out, gently rub it with your fingers under a small stream of warm water. Then dry it with a cloth and return it to the socket.
If you think it requires more than warm water to clean sufficiently, you can try a non-abrasive soap. As long as you keep the artificial eye clean and take care of it, it should fit comfortably and last for years.
Here are some additional tips:
- Don’t remove the prosthesis from the shell if you can help it; you should leave that to your doctor to do when it’s necessary.
- Get the artificial eye polished annually to maintain a natural appearance.
- Change the artificial eye about once every five years.
There have been many advances in artificial eye technology over the past decade. If you take care of it, your artificial eye will do much for your well-being and quality of life.