prosthetic artificial eye fitting

The loss of an eye or any part of the face in most cases will cause extreme apprehension and disbelief to the person involved; additionally it affects ones social and professional life. Cosmetic rehabilitation with custom made prosthetic (Custom Artificial Eyes) devices gives such individuals professional and social acceptance and alleviates problems.

What is Prosthetic eye?

An prosthetic eye is an artificial eye that is placed in the eye socket of patients whose eyes have been removed. The eye is made of a durable, high-quality acrylic and it comes in two forms: Stock shell and Custom-Made Prostheses. Stock shells are ready-made, while custom-made prostheses are built to the shape of the patients eye socket. The eyes will not restore vision to the patients. However, they can greatly improve quality of life by restoring a normal appearance to the face.

When might I need an artificial eye?

Artificial eyes are often used if a patient is completely blind in one eye OR if a condition in the eye threatens the life of the patient, requiring it to be removed. The most common example of the latter case is cancer and trauma. People with prosthetic eyes have been affected by conditions such as:


  • Retinoblastoma
  • Glaucoma
  • Eye injury
  • Eye infection


About the Artificial Eye

Implants are made of a dense, high-quality acrylic called PMMA. This material was selected because it fits well, is very durable, and does not irritate the eye socket. When a patients eye is removed during surgery, a ball implant is placed in the eye socket to fill the area that once contained the eye. A prosthetic is molded to sit in front of this ball, between the two eyelids.

For custom-made eyes, the molding of the prosthetic will be customized to the shape of the patients eye socket. This is done using a wax model. The purpose of the wax model is to determine the exact shape of the eye socket and to ensure that the eyelids can still close. Once the wax model is complete, the acrylic eye is made. The eye is painted and polished to match the other eye.


  • Grinding
  • Polishing
  • Painting


Custom-Made Vs Stock Eye

Custom-made eyes are generally better for the following reasons:


  • Better fit in the eye socket
  • Very little eye discharge
  • Eye movement is more natural
  • Hand-painted eye matches the other eye
  • Longer-lasting than stock shells


However, stock shells are generally cheaper.

Care & Maintenance

Follow these steps for the best maintenance of your new prosthetic eye:

  1. Use regular water and bathing soap to clean the prosthesis
  2. Use saline solution or an eyewash to clean the eye socket
  3. Lubricating drops can help prevent dryness. Apply one drop in the morning and one at night.
  4. Normally, you can clean the eye once a month. However, frequency of removal and cleaning may vary with each patient.
  5. Come to the center once a year for periodic checkup and polishing. Polishing will remove any salt deposits and minor scratches.

How soon after the surgery can the prosthesis be fitted?

Prosthesis is usually fitted once the wound heals and the swelling subsides. This usually takes about 6 weeks.

Will it match the other eye?

This depends on the type of prosthetic you select.

Stock Shell: These eyes are ready-made. They provide only a rough match for the eye.

Custom-Made Prosthesis: These are custom-made, so they will exactly match the other eye in appearance and shape. They do not need to be replaced for a long time. However, they cost more than the stock eyes.

Will it move like the other eye?

Although the plastic eye will not move exactly like the normal eye, some amount of movement will occur. The custom-made eye offers better movement than the stock eye.

Does it have to be removed while sleeping?

No, it does not have to be removed while sleeping.

Does it have to be cleaned?

Yes. The stock shell should be cleaned once a week and the custom-made prosthesis should be cleaned once a month. Normal tap water can be used to clean both.

Does it have to be changed?

The stock shell should be replaced every year. The custom-made prosthesis lasts for 10 years or more. It can be polished once a year to remove any scratches.

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