First time patients may think that when they get their first prosthetic eye or scleral shell that it will be their permanent artificial eye for life. That is certainly not the case! Though it is a custom artificial eye, we never like to use the word permanent. The inside of your socket is composed of soft tissue which will change over time and it is our job to ensure that the artificial eye is maintained (adjusted) as anatomical changes take place within the socket. As these changes take place the artificial eye can begin to rub on the tissue covering the implant or your phthisical eye depending on your situation. The prosthesis may even begin to change gaze positioning, where it may look up, down, in, or out. In these cases we can typically make same day adjustments (polishing, enlarging and vaulting) to the artificial eye to accommodate for such changes.
An average adult patient should wait no longer than 7 months in between appointments for any cleaning and adjustments that may need to be done. We recommend that children be seen every 3-4 months. During these visits the ocularist will evaluate your socket and ocular prosthesis to see how to proceed with your individual care. A prosthetic eye can only be adjusted so many times however. After a certain amount of adjustments we typically recommend refitting for a new prosthetic eye. The socket condition and age of the current prosthesis will determine when it is time to be refit for a new prosthetic eye. These regular visits will help ensure the health of the socket and surrounding tissue as well; and make sure the prosthesis is fitting properly to prevent any future complications such as surgeries or having issues with the prosthesis staying in place.