What is a Scleral Cover Shell Ocular Prosthesis?

Scleral Shell PatientScleral shells are a specific type of ocular prosthesis that are fit and fabricated over the person’s existing eye.  These prostheses cover the entire surface of a cosmetically blemished eye, restoring the eye to it’s natural appearance.  There are a number of different eye conditions that could benefit from a scleral cover shell restoration.  If you have a phthisical eye, evisceration surgery, microphthalmia, or a full-sized disfigured eye then you are a candidate for this treatment.

The primary function of a scleral shell is to replace the volume deficiency of the smaller than normal eye.  Without prosthetic restoration, the inadequate volume of the eye will result in a lack of eyelid support.  This could cause a narrowing of the eyelid opening and a superior eyelid ptosis, or droopy upper eyelid.  A custom-fit scleral shell will not only provide proper eyelid support, but also restore the eye to a natural cosmetic appearance.

To achieve the best scleral shell fit, while maximizing comfort and motility, the impression fitting method is utilized.  This procedure involves your board certified ocularist taking a soft alginate mold of the affected eye;  therefore including the unique contours of the eye’s surface in the final fitting shape of the scleral shell.  This fabrication technique ensures that your custom made ocular prosthesis is tailored to your individual eye socket anatomy.

Once you receive your final prosthesis, it is usually recommended that you begin with daytime wear only, until you become comfortable with your prosthesis.  Your individual wear time will vary depending on your corneal sensitivity and globe prominence.  Your ocularist will carefully monitor your wear time based on your response.

To schedule a consultation with a board certified ocularist, please contact us by filling out the Request an Appointment form found at the top of this page.  We look forward to hearing from you and serving you soon.