Frequently asked questions
There are a lot of questions on the subject of eye prostheses. We have attempted to answer some of these here. If you have other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be pleased to assist you in any way we can!
How do I care for my artificial eye?
Rinsing the artificial eye regularly with clear water generally suffices. If there is a slight formation of crust due to mucus, soak the artificial eye in vinegar for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly with water.
Can an artificial eye made of glass break while inside the eye socket?
No! The eye prosthesis is well protected within the eye socket by the facial bones and cannot be damaged even when participating in sporting activities. However, proper care is necessary while cleaning the glass prosthesis. Artificial eyes should never be removed or cleaned over the bathroom sink. Use a container filled with water and clean your artificial eye over a soft cloth spread out on a tabletop or other solid surface.
The iris of my artificial eye frequently looks darker in the evening compared to the healthy eye. Why is that?
A healthy eye has a reaction of the pupil, i.e. the pupil becomes larger when the surrounding area is dark. This causes the colour of the iris to look darker overall. Unfortunately, eye prostheses cannot reproduce this effect and therefore appear lighter in comparison. For this reason, one frequently selects an iris colour for the artificial eye that is slightly darker, especially when the eye colour is very light (e.g. a light blue).
Why does the white in my artificial eye frequently look darker than the white in my healthy eye?
The eye prosthesis technician uses all the means at his disposal so that no difference in the two irises is apparent. This includes diminishing strong contrasts. The technician therefore tends to select a scleral white that is a little darker and of a slightly lighter iris colour which makes for a better cosmetic result. Eye prostheses with less contrast are not as noticeable in everyday life!
Who pays for my eye prosthesis?
Glass eye prostheses are included in the compulsory health insurance in Switzerland since 1.1.1999 (MiGeL 24.01.01.00.1). In many cases, the IV, SUVA, EMV and other UVG insurers are also obligatory for them. Please feel free to ask us, if you need further advice!
Why does an artificial eye frequently look smaller than a healthy eye?
The following three points must be considered: COMPATIBILITY, MOVABILITY and UNOBTRUSTIVENESS. The eye socket (conjunctival sac) has a given size that depends on a patient’s history. The more this space is filled (with a larger or curved prosthesis), the stronger the resulting pressure will be. This also affects the eyelid’s ability to close. Both can cause an increased tendency for irritation of the conjunctivas. Furthermore, if the prosthesis uses all space in the conjunctival sac, it frequently restricts the prosthesis’ movability. An artificial eye is and remains artificial. As a result, there will always be differences between the prosthesis and the healthy eye. These can frequently be reduced with making a smaller prosthesis and consequently smaller lid opening.
Why does my eye water in dry areas, especially in winter?
SOnce the surface of the prosthesis becomes dry, the upper lid is irritated and prompts the production of increased tears. This can only be prevented by improving the closure of the lid (by using a smaller, flatter prosthesis or the use of artificial tears).
Why are artificial eyes still made of glass?
Glass prostheses have properties that no other material has yet achieved: It’s surface is almost absolutely flat and can be moistened. Cryolite glass is biologically inert. No allergic reactions have been reported for more than 150 years. As long as the proper shape and size is selected, these unusual properties make it possible to produce prostheses that do not impair the patient’s quality of life!