An Ocularist is a technician trained in the art of fitting, shaping and painting ocular prostheses. The ocularist’s training includes a college degree, a five year apprenticeship and a board examination administered by the National Examining Board of Ocularists. An ocularist works closely with your ophthalmologist to attain the best possible result.
The prosthesis should be professionally cleaned at least once a year to remove protein build-up. The socket and prosthesis should also be checked to insure a proper fit and cosmetic result.
If the prosthesis is removed it should be washed prior to re-insertion with an anti-bacterial soap.
To remove the prosthesis, depress the lower lid so that the lower edge of the prosthesis slides out and down. A suction cup provided by the ocularist may be used to hold the prosthesis during removal and insertion. When using the suction cup, squeeze the center of the suction cup and secure it to the prosthesis. The suction cup will make it easier to hold the prosthesis in place while adjusting the lids.
A prosthesis should be refit every 3 to 5 years to compensate for the changes that occur in the socket. With younger children the prosthesis may need to be refit sooner.
The scleral shell prosthesis is a flush-fitting ocular prosthesis, which is made from an exact impression to cover a blind, shrunken, or disfigured eye.
Children as young as 6 months of age can be fit with a prosthesis. It is important to start early in the child’s life to help minimize asymmetry which can occur as the child grows and develops. Children younger than 6 months are fit with a conformer to help promote growth in the orbit.