What is a prosthetic eye?
Prosthetic eyes are a very common treatment option for someone who has lost an eye. People of all ages and genders are fitted for prosthetic eyes after they have an eye (or in some cases, both eyes) removed due to a traumatic eye injury, illness, or eye or facial malformation.
The purpose of a prosthetic eye is to create a balanced facial appearance and increase comfort in the eye socket where the eye is missing.
People have been making and wearing prosthetic eyes for millennia. Early prosthetic eyes were made of clay that was painted and attached to a piece of cloth. Many centuries later, people began making spherical prosthetic eyes from glass.
Today, prosthetic eyes are no longer glass spheres. Instead, a prosthetic eye includes a porous round implant that is inserted into the eye socket and covered with eye tissue called conjunctiva.
A thin, curved, glossy painted acrylic disk made to look like a natural eye — complete with an iris, pupil, white, and even blood vessels — is slipped onto the implant. The disk can be removed, cleaned, and replaced when needed.
If you need a prosthetic eye, you can purchase a stock or ready-made eye, which is mass-produced and does not have a customized fit or color. Or you can order a customized eye made just for you by a prosthetic eye-maker, known as an Ocularist. A custom eye will have a better fit and a more natural coloring to match your remaining eye.