What Is an Artificial Eye Made Of?

An artificial eye, or prosthetic eye, is an eye replacement for someone who lost their natural eye due to a disease or injury. The replacement cannot provide eyesight, but it does fill the eye cavity socket and acts as a cosmetic enhancement. Prior to prosthetic eyes becoming available, a person who lost an eye usually had to wear a patch. Today, things have changed. Artificial eyes are made of materials that can last a person an average of ten years.

Artificial Eye Material

If you are inquiring about prosthetic eye material, the majority of them are made of plastic. Even though artificial eyes can last up to ten years, children may require more frequent replacements due to rapid changes in growth. A person may need between four or five prostheses from infancy to adulthood.

Some artificial eyes are made of acrylic. However, again, the main material is plastic. Both plaster and wax are used to create the molds. Prosthetic eye making involves a white powder called alginate in the molding process. Both decorating and paintings are used to add life-like features. While some may think that they are made up of glass, they are not. Prosthetic eyes are not round in shape either. Only the visible part of the eye is rounded. Following your surgery, you will need to visit an ocularist to be fitted for your prosthetic eye.

The actual manufacturing process from start to finish will vary depending on the individual patient. However, 3.5 hours is a typical time. Currently, ocuralists look at ways to decrease this time.

How To Clean Prosthetic Eyes

You will want to make sure that you keep your prosthetic eye clean to help maintain comfort. In the majority of cases, you will only need to take out the eye and clean it once every three weeks. However, your level of comfort will play a role in the frequency of your cleaning. Always be sure to thoroughly wash your hands prior to handling the artificial eye to prevent infection or irritation of the tissues within your eye socket.

You will only need to use your fingers to clean your eyes. You can hold it under warm water without the use of any soap. If you do choose to use soap, make sure that you choose a mild one to prevent irritation. A soft tissue or cloth can be used to dry the artificial eye before putting it back in.

The most satisfying part of prosthetic eye making is when the patient receives their new eye. If the ocularist has done a good job, they will be happy as the patient’s life has changed for the better.