Sapana Jha, B.Optom
Oculoplasty Fellow Optometrist, Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, New Delhi, India
“It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
It is said that “The face is a picture of the mind with the eyes as its interpreter.” A normal facial appearance is one of the inherent human traits. If there is any change or loss, it has an influence on the physical, social, and mental well-being, and self-confidence of the affected people.1 Considering the loss of an eye creates severe psychological trauma with a negative impact on the quality of life. It remains quite a challenging task to bring their normal life back.(1)
To overcome all the challenges, ocular prosthesis is an option to improve the quality of life, providing satisfaction and appearance of affected eyes to any injury or disease of the patient. It gives a chance to uplift the patient’s behavioural, and mental status and improves confidence, especially in children.
Figure 1: Improved cosmesis after ocular prosthesis
Ocular prosthesis, commonly known as an artificial eye, is a remarkable medical innovation that has significantly enhanced the quality of life for individuals who have lost sight and eye, due to trauma, disease, congenital conditions, or any systemic ophthalmia.(2) With its realistic appearance and functional benefits, an ocular prosthesis not only restores visual symmetry but also brings about a positive psychological impact.
Goiato et al., found in their study that ocular prosthesis causes a positive influence on the patients’ personal relations and that this fact can be associated with psychological improvement along with prosthesis use.(3)
Sebastien Ruiters et.al has done a study on measuring quality of care and life in patients with ocular prosthesis, where they have 20 item questionnaire and found out that the patients with long-standing ocular prosthetics were satisfied with their physical appearance.(4)
How does ocular prosthesis contribute to the overall well-being and quality of life of its wearers?
Restoring FacialSymmetry & Enhancing Psychological well being
The loss of an eye can create a visible deformity, leading to self-consciousness and a negative impact on self-esteem. Ocular prostheses are designed to closely mimic the appearance of a natural eye, helping to restore facial symmetry. The prosthetic eye is custom-made to match the size, shape, colour, and movement of the remaining eye, blending seamlessly with the surrounding tissues. This restoration of facial symmetry can alleviate the emotional distress caused by the visible absence of an eye, boosting confidence and self-image and improving their psychological well-being.
Improving Visual Aesthetics:
Apart from the cosmetic benefits, an ocular prosthesis also contributes to the visual aesthetics of the wearer. The prosthesis is carefully crafted to replicate the natural iris and pupil, providing a realistic and life-like appearance. This attention to detail helps to maintain eye contact and promote a sense of normalcy during social interactions. As a result, individuals with ocular prosthesis can feel more comfortable and accepted in social settings, positively impacting their overall quality of life.
While ocular prosthesis primarily focus on cosmetic restoration, they also offer functional benefits. The prosthesis is designed to fit comfortably in the eye socket and move in synchrony with the remaining eye, facilitating regular eye movements. These functional advantages contribute to the wearer’s ability to perform daily activities, such as driving, reading, and participating in sports, thus improving their overall quality of life.
Ocular prosthesis has revolutionised the lives of individuals who have lost an eye by restoring facial symmetry, improving visual aesthetics, enhancing psychological well-being, and providing functional benefits. As advancements in medical technology continue, we can expect further improvements in the design and functionality of ocular prostheses, allowing individuals to lead fulfilling lives despite the challenges they have faced.
- Goiato, M. C., de Caxias, F. P., & dos Santos, D. M. (2018). Quality of life living with ocular prosthesis. Expert Review of Ophthalmology, 13(4), 187-189.
- Ruiters, S., Sun, Y., de Jong, S., Politis, C., & Mombaerts, I. (2016). Computer-aided design and three-dimensional printing in the manufacturing of an ocular prosthesis. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 100(7), 879-881.
- Goiato, M. C., Santos, M. R., Monteiro, B. C. Z., Moreno, A., Bannwart, L. C., Guiotti, A. M., … & Dos Santos, D. M. (2015). Electrical activity of the orbicularis muscles before and after installation of ocular prostheses. International journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery, 44(1), 127-131.
- Ruiters, S., De Jong, S., & Mombaerts, I. (2021). Measuring quality of care and life in patients with an ocular prosthesis. Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 259, 2017-2025.