Prosthetic eyes should not be removed and cleaned more frequently than monthly and not less frequently than six monthly (see the video or pdf for more detailed instructions on how to clean your prosthetic eye). This personal cleaning regime, plus an annual check and professional polish of the prosthesis should be all the maintenance required.
The socket changes quite rapidly during the first year or two following removal of the natural eye. After that it stabilises somewhat, and subsequent changes are more to do with age and gravity than with shrinkage of the orbital tissues. Your initial prosthesis may therefore need to be replaced after 2 years, while subsequent prosthetic eyes should last 5 to 8 years. Children under 18 need more frequent replacements to keep pace with their growth.
It is not uncommon for a mucoid discharge to accompany the wearing of a prosthetic eye. This is harmless but annoying and affects some patients more than others. The discharge is worse when the eye is removed and cleaned too often, not regularly re-polished or is ill fitting. Patients should avoid air conditioned environments and dusty, dry or windy conditions – and never use powdered make-up.
For people with monocular vision it is especially important to have the good eye checked every two years by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. It makes good sense to detect and treat eye problems before they become serious. Many conditions that affect the natural eye also affect the socket containing the prosthetic eye, e.g. dry eye syndrome.
Below are videos to help with inserting, removing and cleaning your prosthetic eye:
Print copy: Inserting, removing and cleaning your prosthetic eye