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Artificial Eye: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2024

What is the Artificial Eye?

Artificial eye treatment is required when a person permanently damages one of their eye to an injury, glaucoma, eye tumors or to an infection which happens in the inside of an eye. Using an artificial or prosthetic eye helps to improve the appearance of people who have lost the sight of one eye due to a complication. The artificial eye includes a whitish, oval outer shell which is designed to look like the outer white area of the eye ball. The central area of the eye is painted to look the iris and the pupil. The implantation of a prosthetic eye is always suggested almost immediately after the removal of the damaged eye as the implant helps in supporting the other functions of the eye like the proper functioning of the eyelid.

There are two different types of surgeries which can be performed depending on the type of prosthetic eye you want to use. Evisceration and Enucleation are used for the procedure of implanting the prosthetic eye. Prosthetic eye is vastly preferred over an eye patch or bandage for people who have lost sight in one eye permanently and need to have the eye removed. However, patients need to note that artificial eye cannot restore vision as it only helps in bettering the appearance of the patient.

How is the Artificial Eye treatment done?

There are two different types of surgeries which can be performed in order to implant the prosthetic eye. However, these surgeries depend on the type of artificial eye which is going to be used. However, using the prosthetic eye does not mean that the patient’s eye sight will be restored as the prosthetic eye is only used to better the appearance of the patient. The two types of surgeries performed are called Evisceration and Enucleation.

In the method of evisceration, the jelly-like insides of the damages eye is suctioned out which is done through an incision made in the front region of the eye. This surgery method helps in preserving the tissues in the eye socket and the outer eye. The other method of enucleation involves the removal of the entire eye-ball. The procedure of removing the damaged eye usually takes place with local anesthesia. In order to reduce the anxiety and pain sedating and pain medicines may be injected in the veins. The prosthetic eye which is used in the surgery is made up of hard, plastic acrylic and is shaped like a shell. The eye fits perfectly over the ocular implants. This implant is another hard device which is made to permanently fit deeper in the socket of the eye.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Any individual who has permanently damaged their sight in either of the eye because of an infection, glaucoma, or an injury is eligible for the treatment. The prosthetic eye can only be implanted after one particular eye is completely damaged.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People with perfect vision or partially problematic visions do not need a prosthetic eye. Individuals without any permanent damage are not eligible for the surgeries.

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Are there any side effects?

Some of the side effects of using a prosthetic eye are sagging eyelids which is caused by the weight of the prosthetic eye. Shrinkage or loss of shape is other side effects which are to be considered before the surgery.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The prosthetic eye can be easily handled and replaced. You should be careful about a few things before handling the prosthetic eye. Washing your hands every time you touch the artificial eye is mandatory and be sure that the prosthetic eye cannot be damaged or lost in your surroundings.

How long does it take to recover?

An artificial eye lasts for around 5 years and needs a replacement after the specific time period. For children, the prosthetic eye may last for 3-4 years because of the growth spurts. You need to wait for around six weeks after the surgery to visit the ocularist as it takes around six weeks for the prosthetic eye to fit in properly.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of a single prosthetic eye in India can be around Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000 and above. However, the cost of the surgery also gets counted in.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The artificial eye which is implanted as a replacement of the permanently damaged eye can stay intact for a period of five years. However after that time period, the artificial eye needs to be replaced with a new one. For young children, the artificial eye can last for up to 3-4 years as there body is constantly going through changes.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

When a person loses his/her eye to an injury or infection, a procedure called enucleation is immediately performed to fit in the artificial eye and keep the eyelid functioning without any trouble. This is the best possible treatment for the problem. However, people can still opt for using a bandage or an eye patch but this can shave a negative impact in the functioning of the eyelid.

References

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Written ByDr. Anurag Agarwal MS - Ophthalmology,MBBSOphthalmology
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