Removing, Cleaning and Inserting Your Artificial Eye
Almost all patients manage to remove and replace their prostheses easily – you will too with a little practice.
Removing the eye for the first time
- Wash and rinse your hands.
- Place a mirror on a bed and look down over it. (The bed makes for a soft landing if you drop the eye, while looking down over the mirror allows gravity to help the eye come out.)
- If you wear a prosthesis on your left side, lift your right arm up above your head and bring your right hand down over your socket. (This position enables you to see what is going on in the mirror). If you wear a prosthesis on your right side, lift your left arm.
- Place the middle finger of your right hand on to the surface of your prosthesis and roll it up together with your top eyelid. This will lift the lower edge of your prosthesis upwards and forward.
- Now place the tip of the forefinger of your left hand against the lower lid and press it inward so that your finger nail slides under the prosthesis and pops it out.
Removing the eye after some practice
Once you have removed your eye for the first time your confidence will increase and you will be able dispense with the mirror on the bed. You may even become good at removing your eye with one hand: Place your forefinger on the lower lid and press it inward and sideways away from your nose so that the stretched lid margin slides under the prosthesis and lifts it out.
- Clean the prosthesis by wiping it firmly with a paper towel wetted with cold water. Wipe the front surface, then the back and then the edges.
- Dry the eye with tissue paper and inspect it for plaque. This appears as a crusty white area when the eye is dry and can be removed by hard polishing with a tissue or by scraping off with a finger nail. Be careful here because it is easy to take the shine off the surface if you are too vigorous.
- Inspect the eye further for any dull areas or scratches on the surface which may require professional polishing.
- Return the prosthesis to the eye socket, wet.
Never soak the prosthesis in detergent or anything else other than clean water.
Never clean the eye with a household cleaner or with toothpaste.
Never clean the eye in hot water.
Never dry the eye with anything but a soft paper tissue.
Your prosthesis should be professionally cleaned and polished at least once a year. Even if the eye looks shiny, microscopic scratches on the surface eventually cause irritation and mucoid discharge. No matter how diligent you are with your cleaning routine, you cannot recreate the polish of a high speed buff which melts and redistributes the surface molecules.
Sharpest angle points towards the nose. This end is also coloured pink.
- Wash, rinse and dry your hands.
- Tilt your head so you are looking downward towards a mirror.
- Hold your prosthesis between your thumb and second finger and orientate it so that the sharpest corner points towards your nose. (This is also the pink corner.)
- With your free hand pointing down ward over your socket, lift your upper lid with your middle finger.
- Slide the top edge of your prosthesis under it and hold it in place.
- Remove the finger that was holding up the top lid and use it to pull down the lower lid until your lower eyelashes appear from under the prosthesis.
- Allow your lower lid to spring back over the prosthesis.