Can vision be maintained with an ocular prosthesis?
Occasionally we have patients who are non-vision, but who do have some perception. We have patients who avoid being fit with prosthetic eyes because of the implications of losing their light perception. We feel it is very important to maintaining vision with an ocular prosthesis, rather than cover the eye with an opaque, artificial eye which eliminates any light perception. It is important that ophthalmologists, patients, parents and other ocularists know that solutions are available which provide light perception and the benefits of a prosthesis.
To ensure we give each patient the best solution, we perform an evaluation of light perception in our office. We do not assume that a patient is non-vision even when a doctor refers the patient as a non-vision individual. Often, when we take photos or begin fitting a prosthesis, we realize that the patient is seeing us. In fact, that is a not uncommon finding as we begin treatment. Our offices does everything we can to stimulate and use vision when it exists. We do not know what the future will hold in medicine. We try to preserve abilities our patients have with a view to the future.
Often children are over diagnosed as non-visioned or as having no light perception. This may be because the eye has degenerated to a point where the ophthalmologist does not feel he or she can improve upon it. They see it as a lost cause. However the situation may not necessarily need improvement. We always encourage natural anatomy and any natural abilities or senses that anyone has. We deal with a greater degree of eye loss than most ophthalmologists. From slight vision loss to parts of faces needing removal. Therefore we have an excellent perspective on just how valuable any amount of light perception may be.
Some people with poor vision in one eye experience problems related to confused stimulation to their brain. Therefore they may in fact prefer a traditional, opaque ocular prosthesis because it reduces the confused stimulation to the brain. The office of John Stolpe will help make recommendations about which solution is best.
Very few ocularists undertake the procedure or creating a prosthesis that allows light perception. Perhaps this is because the pieces are much more complex and more difficult to fabricate. We hope people with low vision benefit from the use of a prosthesis that allows some vision.