Have you ever heard of "Artificial Eyes" or medically called, "Ocular Prosthesis"? 

Implanting a prosthetic eye (ocular prosthesis) is almost always recommended after an eye is surgically removed due to damage or disease. This implant supports proper eyelid functioning. The need for this may follow after an injury, glaucoma, eye infections and eye tumors. 

What is this exactly? An ocular prosthesis, artificial eye or glass eye is a type of craniofacial prosthesis that replaces an absent natural eye following an enucleation, evisceration, or orbital exenteration. The prosthesis fits over an orbital implant and under the eyelids. Though often referred to as a glass eye, the ocular prosthesis roughly takes the shape of a convex shell and is made of medical grade plastic acrylic.

Artificial eye-making has been practiced since ancient times.  The first ocular prostheses were made by Roman and Egyptian priests as early as the fifth century BC.  In those days artificial eyes were made of painted clay attached to cloth and worn outside the socket.

It took about twenty centuries for the first in-socket artificial eyes to be developed.  At first, these were made of gold with colored enamel.  Then, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, the Venetians started making artificial eyes out of glass.  These early glass eyes were crude, uncomfortable to wear, and very fragile.  Even so, the Venetians continued making them and kept their methods secret until the end of the eighteenth century.

After that, the center for artificial eye-making shifted to Paris for a time, but by the mid-nineteenth century, German glass blowers had developed superior techniques, and the center for glass eye-making moved to Germany.  Shortly thereafter, glass eye-making was introduced in the United States.

Presently, ocularists and eye surgeons have always worked together to make artificial eyes look more realistic. For decades, all efforts and investments to improve the appearance of artificial eyes have been dampened by the immobility of the pupil. One solution to this problem has been demonstrated recently in a device based on an LCD which simulates the pupil size as a function of the ambient light.

he process of making an ocular prosthesis, or a custom eye, will begin, usually six weeks after the surgical procedure, and it typically will take up to three visits before the final fitting of the prosthesis. In most cases, the patient will be fitted during the first visit, return for the hand-painting of the prosthesis, and finally come back for the final fitting. The methods used to fit, shape, and paint the prosthesis often vary between ocularist and patient needs.

The care required for an ocular prosthesis, outside of regular polishes and check-ups with ocularists, typically revolves around maintaining moisture of the prosthesis and cleanliness. Removing the ocular prosthesis for cleaning outside of the ocularist's office is not required, but some patients prefer it. Patients find that after they've adjusted to their ocular prosthesis, they barely notice a difference in feeling between their artificial eye and their real eye.


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