1. What are prosthetic eyes and scleral shells made of?
Artificial eyes are made of PMMA (polymethylmethacralate), a durable acrylic that is also used in the fabrication of dental appliances and most contact lenses. The acrylic prostheses are hand painted with fine artist oil paints to simulate every detail of the companion eye's natural anatomy.
2. How does it feel to wear an artificial eye or scleral shell?
Inserting, removing and wearing an artificial eye or scleral shell does not hurt! In fact, nearly all of our patients report that they are far more comfortable while wearing their prosthesis than when not wearing it .
3. How long will it take before I receive my artificial eye?
It will generally take anywhere from 2 to 4 visits into our office depending upon your individual case. After surgery, at approximately 2 to 6 weeks (as determined by your surgeon) you will come in to our office to be fitted with a therapeutic temporary prosthesis, You will wear this 1st prosthesis for somewhere between 2 to 8 weeks until your socket completes the healing process. Then the permanent, final prosthesis will be fabricated, painted and ready for delivery approximately 1 week later.
The replacement of an existing, older ocular prosthesis will require 2 separate visits into the office and will take around 1 week to complete.
A scleral shell will take about 1 to 3 weeks to fit, paint and deliver; and generally will require 4 to 6 visits to the office to complete.
4. How do I clean my prosthesis and how often do I take it out?
Daily cleaning of the artificial eye consists of a simple rinsing with saline solution while the eye is in place. Only once every few months will it be necessary to remove the prosthesis for more thorough cleaning with soap and water.
Scleral shells for blind eyes are removed and cleaned daily with mild soap and water. In most cases, scleral shells are not worn overnight while sleeping.
5. How long will my ocular prosthesis last?
Ocular prosthetics made of acrylic can be expected to last, on average, about 5 to 7 years before a replacement is necessary. Because the eye socket anatomy changes over time your prosthesis will inevitably become small and ill-fitting causing the lids to droop and potentially creating irritation. Also, the acrylic material changes as it is worn by absorbing tears and socket secretions and can discolor and become irritating to the socket tissues.
6. Will my insurance pay for the prosthesis?
Ocularists Limited works with all major insurance companies and most likely your health insurance policy will help cover part, if not all, of the cost of the prosthesis. Our insurance specialist will file all of the necessary papers to realize the maximum insurance benefits and minimize your out of pocket costs. Depending upon your specific situation a deposit may or may not be required to start work and/or deliver your prosthesis. We work with CareCredit Healthcare Finance for those individuals who need help with larger out of pocket costs.
7. Why should I have my prosthesis made at Ocularists Limited?
Because we are the best! The quality and expertise of ocularists varies tremendously and most cities are unlikely to have more than 1 or 2 ocularists; as a result, many artificial eye patients are left to accept a prosthesis that is "just good enough." Our experience, expertise, and technical abilities ensure you will receive absolutely the best ocular prosthesis possible.