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How to Handle Your Artificial Eyes

If you recently got fake eyes, one of your major questions on your mind is how to take care of your artificial eyes and the best way to handle and clean them. The good news is that ocular prosthetics can easily be removed and replaced with some practice. They are held in place by the lower and upper eyelids and fit to the interior of the eye socket. Most patients wear their prosthesis full time, removing only occasionally to clean, while other patients remove their prosthesis at night. Wearing full time is ideal.

Our expert ocularists Christie and Todd have some great tips and tricks for artificial eye care and handling.

  • Removing an artificial eye
  • Inserting an artificial eye
  • Cleaning your artificial eye
  • Helpful hints for artificial eye wearers
  • Polishing your artificial eye
  • Replacing your artificial eye
  • Prosthetic eye lubricants

Before you get started with your prosthetic eye care, always remember to use clean hands when handling your prosthesis. Check your surroundings to make sure the prosthesis won't be damaged or lost if it is accidentally dropped. Remove the prosthesis only as necessary to clean or as often as directed. Too much handling can cause irritation to your socket and excess drainage./p>

REMOVING AN ARTIFICIAL EYE

WITH FINGERS:

1) Pull down the lower eyelid with index finger, look up and slide finger towards the ear.

2) Allow the prosthesis to slide out over the lower lid. Gently remove prosthesis with free hand.


WITH SUCTION CUP:

1) Open eyelids, apply suction cup to the prosthesis and squeeze the handle. When attached, relax the squeeze, holding handle lightly.

2) Pull down lower with finger. Tilt the prosthesis up and out, over the lower lid. Squeeze suction cup handle to release.


INSERTING AN ARTIFICIAL EYE

WITH FINGERS:

1) Lift upper lid with index finger to create an opening. Gently slide top edge of prosthesis under upper lid.

2) Release upper lid once prosthesis is in. Pull down lower lid and blink until prosthesis sets into position.

WITH SUCTION CUP:

1) Attach suction cup to prosthesis by squeezing handle. Lift upper lid and slide top edge of prosthesis under upper lid.

2) Release upper lid and pull down lower lid to seat prosthesis. Squeeze suction cup handle to release. Blink eyelids.

HANDLING A SCLERAL SHELL

1) Follow same handling instructions as artificial eyes.
2) It may be helpful to look down while removing and placing the scleral shell.
3) Wear as long as comfortable, removing at night if necessary.


CLEANING YOUR OCULAR PROSTHESIS

Over time, the surface of the prosthesis collects protein and debris. Taking good care of your prosthesis helps to ensure a healthy socket and increase the life of your prosthesis.

Some patients find that removing and cleaning their prosthesis every day is necessary, while others are able to wear it for a couple weeks or longer before cleaning.

Cleaning the prosthesis every 2-3 weeks is ideal.

1) Wash hands with soap and warm water.

2) Use warm water to rinse and softly scrub the prosthesis with your fingers, removing built-up protein and debris.

3) Only use soap when necessary - on these occasions, use a mild soap like baby shampoo and rinse thoroughly.

4) Dry with a soft tissue, polishing very lightly in a circular motion.

To remove built-up protein from your eyelids and eyelashes, soak with a warm wet tissue. It is also possible to clean the front of your prosthesis this way, without removing the prosthesis.

A professional polish is the only way to remove the protein attachments and bacterial infiltration. We recommend having your prosthesis polished every 6 months, depending on your body chemistry. Please call today to schedule an appointment if your last polish was over 6 months ago.


HELPFUL HINTS FOR ARTIFICIAL EYE WEARERS

• Always use clean hands when handling your prosthesis.

• Check your surrounds to make sure the prosthesis won't be damaged or lost if it is accidentally dropped.

• Too much handling can cause irritation and excess drainage, remove the prosthesis only as directed by your ocularist.

• Always close eyelids and wipe toward your nose, wiping outward may dislodge the prosthesis.

• Try to position your chin toward the person you are conversing with. Practice moving your head and shoulders, not just your eyes.

• Nicely fit glasses with polycarbonate lenses will help protect your natural eye.

• Do not store your eye in tissue, as it could accidentally be discarded.

• Do not clean the prosthesis with any solvents, hand sanitizer or alcohol, as these chemicals may damage the prosthesis and your socket.


POLISHING YOUR ARTIFICIAL EYE

A professional polish provides comfort, a more natural appearance, and removes scratches, protein deposits and bacteria from the surface of the prosthesis. An examination will also be performed to ensure your tissue is healthy and your prosthesis is fitting correctly. This appointment also allows your ocularist to examine the orbit, ensuring that your tissue is healthy and your prosthesis is fitting correctly.

The prosthesis should be professionally polished every six months.

Some symptoms that may occur when one is in need of a polish are:

• irritated or itchy lids
• increased drainage or discomfort
• changes in the appearance

Please contact us with any questions regarding the fit and care of your prosthesis.


REPLACING YOUR ARTIFICIAL EYE

Artificial eyes do need to be replaced. Eye sockets change shape over time, affecting comfort, movement, and appearance. The surface of the prosthesis also breaks down, resulting in an unhealthy formation of bacteria on the prosthesis.

An artificial eye should be replaced approximately every five years.

Some symptoms that may occur when one is in need of a replacement are:

• increased drainage
• dryness or discomfort
• recurring infections
• droopiness of the eyelids
• changes in appearance

Please contact us with any questions regarding the fit and care of your prosthesis.


PROSTHETIC EYE LUBRICANTS

Artificial eye wearers may occasionally experience dryness, irritation, and difficulty blinking. Adverse weather, dust, wind and air-conditioning tend to evaporate moisture from the front of the prosthesis. Allergies and body changes can also contribute to dryness.

To apply a lubricant or eye drop to your prosthesis, place a drop on a clean finger and swipe across the prosthesis. Blink a few times, then close your eye and blot your skin with a tissue to remove any extra product. Silicone lubricants can be applied as needed, begin by applying morning and night. Water-based eye drops can also be applied as needed, typically every 2-3 hours.

We can recommend a variety of products to alleviate these symptoms and promote comfort. Please contact us or visit our products pages for more information.

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