Why to get biannual cleanings of your prosthetic eye?
Getting a prosthetic eye cleaning is a lot like regular maintenance from a dentist. The ocularist will evaluate your eye socket and the functionality and aesthetics of the prosthesis within the eye socket.
In terms of health and patient comfort, often little things can start to cause big problems. But these things can be resolved when a patient is seen frequently or biannually, before they become major issues. We want to make sure that the eye socket hasn’t changed shapes, which can cause necrosis. If the prosthesis is pushing on the live eye and the piece doesn’t fit properly, this can cause pain. We need to see these types of conditions and modify the shape to get a proper fit. Anatomies change and therefore your piece needs to change as well. Pieces will change gradually over time in order to conform with such changes. This is especially during the first couple of years when the majority of the anatomy fitting has taken place.
Keep your artificial eye from getting dirty, cracked, stained AND uncomfortable! See your ocularist twice per year.
Doing so is a chance to review the hygiene of a patient and make sure they are doing things properly. Sometimes, people have tremendous discharge when they come in. Then go to say they clean their eye every day with toilet paper. In doing so, they are actually making matters much worse for the piece. Removing it so often is not ideal either. Toilet paper or towel are 2 common causes of tremendous chronic secretions and irritations. When people come in for biannual cleanings, we make plans to address issues regularly if there are any serious issues and get them on a track to taking optimal care of their piece.
There is a medical necessity to cleaning, which is removing causes of irritation and addressing hygiene. But the other side is the cosmetic side — maximizing symmetry and any artistic changes that might be necessary. Sclera can darken over time, veining patterns may change, eyelid shape may change. All these things should be evaluated in order to maintain the highest cosmetic values of the piece as well.
Don’t take your eye out too often if your ocularist hasn’t instructed you to, and don’t delay your twice yearly visit. You’ve spent too much time on your piece not to get the most out of it going forward!