Getting an artificial eye is the only way to regain one's psychological equilibrium and live a full life again after the loss of one or even both eyes. In addition, a prosthetic will help to preserve the mucous membrane of the eye, prevent your eyelashes from curving inwards and protect the membrane from being damaged. It will also lower the risk of developing rashes and infections. A professionally made prosthetic eye is, visually, almost identical to the real thing, and is comfortable to wear.
Currently, prosthetic eyes are made using two main materials in most European countries - glass (more specifically cryolite glass) and polymer materials: the most widespread being Polymethylmethacrylate - or P.M.M.A. for short. Even though glass prosthetics have been the most popular option for many years, more and more specialists are gradually opting to use P.M.M.A. based prosthetics.
The Benefits of P.M.M.A. eye prosthetics are:
- The possibility of producing a prosthetic individual eyeball which precisely meets a patient's needs.
- The possibility of making an unlimited number of corrections when using P.M.M.A.
- The fact that prosthetics are polished, prolonging their usability.
- A period of use of between 2-4 years.
- Highly shock resistant materials.
- They are comfortable to wear thanks to their low thermal conduction rate.
- They are ideal for people with an active lifestyle or patients with weakened eyelids.
- The chances of P.M.M.A. causing allergic reactions are very slim.
'Adoria' offers the option to purchase either P.M.M.A. or cryolite glass prosthetics.
CRYOLITE GLASS PROSTHETICS - the patient receives their prosthetic on the day they attend the clinic. This is possible because we have a selection of such pre-made prosthetics on site. All we need to do is find the perfect fit. When necessary, we will sometimes offer to construct a brand new prosthetic for our patients. Although they have many beneficial features,their low shock absorbancy is sometimes viewed as a potential downside to cryolite glass prosthetics.
P.M.M.A. PROSTHETICS - the prosthetic is ready for collection approximately two days post assessment and agreement. On the first day we map out the imprint of the eye socket precisely, allowing us to duplicate all existing grooves and irregularities. A mock-up is made in the presence of the patient and, using a small brush, the specialist paints the iris on to the prosthetic (The iris being the coloured area around the pupil.) Our specialist studies the intact eye and creates a precise replica of its iris.The prosthetic is completed the following day. While fitting the prosthetic, alterations can be easily made due to the nature of the P.M.M.A. During this session, the patient is given instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for his or her new prosthetic.
At 'Adoria', people of all ages have the opportnity to receive these prosthetics. Children below the age of 12 will have to change their prosthetic at least twice a year, as there are some growth irregularities associated with this age. Until the age of 18, prosthetics must be changed two or three times in every two year period. Failure to wear a prosthetic eye can lead to an asymmetrical face and also problems with the eye socket.
In cases where the entire eyelid and orbit have been lost, we would recommend utilizing ectoprosthetics (built into a person's glasses) of which we have a modern range. They are made of soft silicone (P.M.M.A. is used for the iris) and replicate the eye's orbit, eyelid and lashes. The silicone that is used advances the adhesion that the prosthtetic makes to the body. It also makes it as comfortable to wear and as natural-looking as possible.
How long after an eye operation do I have to wait before having the option of requesting a prosthetic?
This can depend on several factors. However, your first prosthetic (a conformer shell) can be inserted a mere three to five days after an operation, to help maintain the natural form of the patient's eye socket. A real/lasting prosthetic can only be provided after the orbit has completely healed. The time this can take is unique to each individual.
What is a conformer shell?
After the surgical removal of an eye, a clear plastic shell is inserted into the eye socket, known as a conformer shell. This allows the eyelids to function properly without touching the scars left after the removal of stitches. The conformer is usually worn for 6 to 8 weeks, in order to allow the eye socket to completely heal. The latest conformers are more curved and better suited to hold a prosthetic, and furthermore they lessen the extrusion of the prosthetic. All conformers are sterilized using Ethylene Oxide, which is an F.D.A.-approved method (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). Ethylene Oxide is also used to sterilise P.M.M.A. prosthetics.
Can I swap my glass prosthetic for a P.M.M.A. one?
Of course! Currently, specialists can carry out their manipulatations easily with either material. The only things to take into consideration are the characteristics of the materials themselves and the feelings and wishes of the patient. It is a question of finding the best materials for each individual patient.
What are the major differences between P.M.M.A. and cryolite glass?
A P.M.M.A. prosthetic can be susceptible to change, yet only requires one coat of polish to look brand new again. However, glass prosthetics cannot be altered after completion in this way. A P.M.M.A. prosthetic is comfortable regardless of the temperature: It has low heat conductivity, which, in cold weather(unlike glass), protects against frostbite in the eye socket, or overheating when in a sauna. Whereas a glass prosthetic will shatter if dropped, a P.M.M.A. one will not suffer damage in these situations. After years of usage in Scandinavian countries, P.M.M.A. prostheticshave been deemed superior to glass varieties for use in the colder Northern European climate.
How long can a P.M.M.A. prosthetic be worn?
Even though P.M.M.A. prosthetics can be worn for much longer periods than glass ones, nevertheless, we recommend that they be replaced every few years. Over time, a person's eye socket dimensions will change, and irritability (with glass especially) or increasing looseness or tightness in the area concerned should serve to notify the wearer that the time for a replacement prosthetic has arrived. Regardless of the fact that a P.M.M.A. prosthetic can be polished or even adjusted slightly, over time it will develop signs of wear and tear - at that point a new one is recommended.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding our prosthtetic services, please feel free to pay a visit to the 'Adoria' clinic. To book an appointment with our ophthalmologist / anaplastologist, Askolds Busmanis, please call +37129219507 .