The Fundamentals of Prosthetic Eye Movement

Whether you are receiving your first prosthetic eye, or your tenth prosthesis, a major concern for most patients is the movement of a new prosthesis.  While your board certified ocularist will fit and fabricate your prosthesis to maximize all available movement, it is important to review the fundamentals of prosthetic eye movement, to better understand your individual cosmetic outcome.  

One of the most important factors in determining your degree of prosthetic eye movement is your medical history.  Upon initial evaluation, your ocularist will carefully review your medical condition, surgical history, and perform a primary assessment of the eye socket.  Each of these contributing factors help the ocularist determine how to fit and fabricate your prosthetic eye.

It is especially critical to understand that prosthetic eyes do not generate their own movement, they only transfer the muscle movement available.  For example if you are wearing a scleral shell ocular prosthesis over a blind eye, the prosthesis is designed to move in accordance with your eye movements.  So if you have normal eye movement in your blind eye, you can expect to maintain a similar amount of movement wearing your scleral shell.  This same principle holds true for patients that have had their eye removed through enucleation or evisceration surgery.  A prosthetic eye will be custom fit over your ocular implant to move in accordance with your implant’s movements.

Prosthetic eye movement is not without its limitations.  A number of converging factors are listed here for reference:  muscle movement and size of residual eye or ocular implant, depth of ocular fornices, sensitivity, and eyelid malformations such as ptosis, ectropion, entropion, and laxity.  We encourage you to ask your ocularist for a more detailed explanation of your prognosis.  To schedule a consultation with a board certified ocularist today, please schedule an appointment online, or call our main Los Angeles office 323.462.6004.  We look forward to meeting you!