How Do You Clean Prosthetic Eyes?

Caring for a prosthetic eye and your eye socket is an essential part of having a prosthesis. Failing to clean your eye once every three weeks or so can lead to irritation or even a painful infection. Luckily, cleaning a prosthetic eye isn’t very challenging or time consuming. Continue reading to learn how to care for a cosmetic eye.

Removing your prosthetic eye

The first step is removing your prosthetic eye, which is much easier to do when standing in front of a mirror. After washing your hands with soapy water for 20 seconds, gently pull your lower eyelid down using your index finger to see the bottom of your prosthesis. Then, gently lift the prosthesis out of your eye socket using your other index finger.

You can also remove your prosthetic eye with a suction cup. You’ll want to start by washing your hands and cleaning the suction cup with mild soap or baby shampoo. Wet the tip of your suction cup with water and squeeze the handle before placing it in the middle of your eye. Then, release the squeeze to let the suction cup attach to your eye and use your index finger to pull down your lower eyelid. Lift your prosthesis upward or outward to remove it.

Cleaning your prosthetic eye

Now that the eye is out, the next step in how to care for your cosmetic eye is to actually clean it. Start by rinsing the prosthesis with water before washing it with mild soap or baby shampoo. Avoid using any cleaners containing alcohol, because these chemicals can permanently damage the prosthesis. Wash all sides of your eye before rinsing it off with running water.

Once your eye is clean, set it out on a clean surface to let it air dry instead of using a towel or cloth. Even a soft microfiber cloth can leave particles on your prosthetic and cause eye socket irritation.

Replacing your prosthetic eye

Now that you know how to clean your cosmetic eye, it’s time to put your eye back in place. Again, start by washing your hands to avoid leaving any germs on your prosthesis and use your fingers to lift your upper eyelid. Then, slowly place the bottom of your prosthetic eye into your socket. Most prostheses have a marking or an indentation letting you know which side is the bottom. Once it’s in place, pull your eyelid down and blink a few times to make sure it fits comfortably.

If you’re using a suction cup, follow the same steps we mentioned earlier to attach the cup to your prosthetic eye. Then, gently lift your upper eyelid and place the top of the prosthesis under your eyelid. Release the suction cup and pull your eyelid down over your prosthesis. Close your eye and open it back up to ensure it’s comfortable.

When should you visit an ocularist?

You now know how to clean your cosmetic eye, but it’s still important to see your ocularist at Hetzler Ocular Prosthetics Inc.. every six months for a checkup. During this visit, we will inspect your prosthesis to ensure it still fits correctly and then polish it to remove any buildup you were unable to remove yourself. Reach out today to schedule your appointment.