The Artificial Eye
The artificial or prosthetic eye will be made four to six weeks after the enucleation. Firstly, a moulding or impression of the socket must be taken. This is a painless procedure performed by a technician known as an ocularist. The new prosthetic eye is then created by the ocularist who will delicately paint it to match the other eye as closely as possible. You will need a total of three visits to the ocularist, but should have your new eye within one week.
The appearance of the artificial eye is usually excellent and most people will not notice that you have had an eye removed. The wearing of spectacles can certainly disguise the artificial eye to some degree.
You will notice that the prosthetic eye does not move as well as the other eye. Fortunately, we usually turn our entire head to look in different directions and so the reduced movement is not as noticeable as in the photos below.
A peg may be placed between the prosthetic eye and the orbital implant to allow for a wider range of movement. Most people are more than happy with the appearance without the peg, and the placement of a peg may even draw more attention to the artificial eye. The details of pegging can be discussed with your eye doctor at a later time.
Care of the Artificial Eye
The prosthetic eye is self-cleaning and rarely needs attention. Occasionally it will need to be removed for cleaning and should be polished every year. The ocularist will advise you regarding this, but it is important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible if the eye socket becomes sore or sticky.
Driving a Motor Vehicle
It is very important to remember that in Australia it is illegal to drive for three months following removal of an eye and only if the vision is at a suitable level in your remaining eye. You should not start driving until you have had confirmation from your eye doctor that your vision meets the acceptable standards.
UniVision Network of South Australia
UniVision Network is a support group for patients (and their families) who have lost an eye. They are located at Knapman House, 230 Pirie St., Adelaide, 5000 (Tel. 8232 4777).