Prosthetic Eyes are very useful. They can make your life easier when it comes to sight and they can save lives. However, there are some things that you have to consider before choosing one over another. There are several factors that go into deciding which prosthesis will best suit your needs. Some of these include: Cost, Comfortability, Durability, Visibility, Ease of Use and Appearance.
Cost: A prosthetic eye can range from $1,000 to $10,000 depending upon the type of eye and where it is made. The price varies greatly because each manufacturer has its own specifications and requirements. For example, a cheap plastic model may not be as good quality or durable as a high-end model. Also, some manufacturers use different materials than others so the price difference between two models might be considerable.
Comfort: Another factor to consider is comfort.
Are you going to wear the prosthesis all day? Will you be able to get dressed without assistance?
If so, then a cheaper model may be better suited for you. On the other hand, if you plan on wearing the prosthesis only during daylight hours (when light levels are lower), then a higher-quality model would probably be preferable.
Also, the fit of the eye is very important. If the model doesn’t fit well it could lead to irritation and other problems. To achieve a good fit, a professional prosthetic eye manufacturer will take an impression of your eye socket and send it to an ocularist who will create a model. The ocularist will then send you the model in the mail and when you receive it, your physician will insert it into your eye socket and fasten it with special medical glue.
Durability: The average life expectancy of a prosthetic eye is five years. Most people will replace their prosthesis once every five years as the eye will have started to show signs of wear and tear. However, if you take good care of your eye (i.e.
don’t get it dirty or drop it on the floor) it could last much longer.
Visibility: Another thing to keep in mind is visibility. Some replacement eyes are made out of glass or plastic and they are much more visible than a natural eye. Other eyes are made out of soft materials that match the exact color and texture of your own eye so they are less visible to others.
Ease of Use: Since a prosthetic eye is an external body part it must be cleaned regularly. When you have a soft eye you need to make sure it doesn’t get dirty or infected since you can’t submerge it in water. A glass or hard plastic eye can be easily cleaned and disinfected, but they are fragile so you need to be careful.
Appearance: The final consideration is appearance. The above factors (comfortability, durability, visibility and ease of use) are arguably more important than appearance, but some people may have specific concerns about how their prosthetic eye looks to others.
A prosthetic eye is a relatively simple device, but it can vastly improve your quality of life and allow you to live a normal life. If you are interested in getting a prosthetic eye, then speak with a medical doctor or prosthetic specialist.
Another option, especially if you are only experiencing vision problems in one eye is a procedure called micropigmentation. In this procedure, a cosmetic technician uses special medical grade pigments to color the white of your eye and make it look more natural. The procedure is fairly nonsurgical and is an excellent solution for those who are experiencing vision loss in one eye or have an “empty” looking socket.
Image: Joachim S. Müller
You can read more from Matt at his site SightRestored.org, like how you can prevent vision problems in the first place.
Sources & references used in this article:
Veridical hallucination and prosthetic vision by D Lewis – Australasian journal of philosophy, 1980 – aap.tandfonline.com
The prosthetic eye: photography as cure and poison by C Pinney – Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
Everything you need to know about biometrics by E Bowman – Identix Corporation, 2000 – biometrie-online.net
Cyber (body) parts: Prosthetic consciousness by RR Wilson – Body & Society, 1995 – journals.sagepub.com
Health-related quality of life and emotional status of anophthalmic patients in Korea by JM Ahn, SY Lee, JS Yoon – American journal of ophthalmology, 2010 – Elsevier