Institute for Artificial Eyes Rothhaupt

Questions and answers about the prosthetic eye

General information on eye prostheses

In most cases, physical and psychological impairments are associated with the loss of a natural eye. These can be reduced or even prevented through the prosthetic use of artificial eyes.
From our many years of practical experience, we know which questions and worries arise with patients. But we also know: if you understand how to use an eye prosthesis, you feel safe and can appear self-confidently and face life.
Correct handling and careful care of the prosthesis is a prerequisite for comfortable wearing and a problem-free fit of your artificial eye. Both are easy to implement if a few instructions are observed, which we will of course explain in detail in a personal conversation.

Properties of your prosthetic eye
  • Your eye prosthesis is a one-off production that is individually manufactured and adapted for your eye socket. It consists of Cryolite glass. This high-quality special glass, which has been known in Germany in the manufacture of glass eyes since around 1850, is only produced by two glassworks in the world using a process that has remained secret until today. As before, cryolite glass proves to be extremely advantageous in the field of eye prosthetics, as it is free of any lead content. Because of the very resistant surface of the artificial eye against the strongly corrosive tear fluid, this property guarantees optimal mucosal compatibility.
  • Artificial eyes made of glass are made hollow or as very thin shell prostheses. The respective type of prosthesis must be determined by your ophthalmologist depending on the nature of your eye socket.
  • The good wearing properties of your prosthesis allow optimal freedom of movement during work, leisure and sport. So you can for example go swimming with your prosthesis. However, as a precaution, you should use swimming goggles because of possible water contamination.

Processing of an artificial eye

 

From raw glass ... 

.to the color sample

 

 

How is eye enucleation performed? 

The enucleation, i.e. the removal of the eye, is performed under general anesthesia. Removal of the eye is an irreversible procedure. There is no way to replace the removed eye later. After the eye has been surgically removed from the eye socket, a silicone ball, a so-called implant, is usually inserted into the eye socket. The eye muscles and the conjunctiva are sutured over this implant, so that movement of the implant and later of the eye prosthesis is possible.

 

As a rule, patients can leave the hospital after 2-3 days after their eye has been removed. After the wound has finally healed, an ocularist will make a prosthesis, i.e. an artificial eye made of glass, after approx. 4-8 weeks. This prosthesis is inserted into the narrow space behind the eyelids. If the other eye now moves, the inserted glass prosthesis is also moved to a certain extent via the eye muscles that remain in the eye socket. Of course, the movement of the glass eye cannot be exactly the same as that of the eye that is still there, but the eye movements that occur most frequently in everyday life are "normally" followed by the glass eye. As a result, a well-fitted glass prosthesis can often hardly be distinguished from a natural eye.

What are the consequences of removing the eye? 

With the removal of the eye, the vision of this eye is of course also lost. The loss of this vision is irrevocable. Since only one intact eye remains after the procedure, the field of vision is also reduced, especially on the side from which the eye was removed. For practical purposes this means e.g. in road traffic that cars coming from the side of the distant eye are only perceived much later.

With the loss of an eye one also loses part of the spatial vision (stereopsis). An adaptation can be achieved through practice in the form of performing everyday activities, so that there is only a limited impairment for practical matters.

Many people have lost an eye as a result of accidents or other events in their lifetime and still lead completely normal, productive lives.

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