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Surprisingly, it is not uncommon for patients (mostly male) to request a prosthetic eye featuring a smiley face or a skull and crossbones, the flag of their country, etc.

The use of black humour to distance one’s-self from a problem and provide perspective is a common phenomenon associated with disasters like earthquakes, etc. and may be a useful tool to help deal with eye loss. However, while novelty eyes may assist some patients cope with their stress in the short term they are unlikely to deliver long lasting benefits. Once patients become accustomed to wearing a prosthetic eye, it is rare for them to request a novelty eye.

Some patients can be quite insistent and they do have a right to get what they ask for. One way to provide this and still keep options open is to fit a theatrical contact lens over the prosthesis – this works and can be peeled off once showtime is over.

Occasionally there is a logical reason to wear a novelty eye. This man is a professional musician in a heavy metal rock band. His children love having a ‘rock star dad’ and the prosthetic eye certainly stands out in a crowd.

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