Prosthetic eyes are a marvel of modern science, technology and artistry. Over the past century, the advancement of the manufacturing of prosthetic eyes has culminated in prosthetics that are extremely difficult to distinguish between natural eyes.
A prosthetic eye is produced to carefully fit in the orbital socket and is carefully designed to provide symmetry between the prosthetic and the natural eye in both appearance as well as size. While those with artificial eyes will be given explicit directions by their Ocularist regarding the maintenance of one's prosthetic including the need for periodic size adjustments and the importance of cleaning, it is vital that one properly lubricates the prosthetic eye in order to minimize the friction felt from the prosthetic.
Choosing The Right Prosthetic Eye Lubricant
Before purchasing a lubricant, it is important to know that there is one single ingredient that is by far and away the most important addition to any prosthetic eye drop: silicone. This ingredient in particular is extremely versatile and is used in a wide variety of medical products. Regarding the use of silicone in prosthetic eye lubrication, silicone will allow those with artificial eyes to experience a maximum amount of comfort for a longer period of time compared with traditional water-soluble lubrications such as saline based products.
Silicone based lubricants are intended strictly for those with prosthetics and should not be used in natural eyes or as a substitute for natural eye drops.
Frequency of Use
If you choose a quality lubricant, you should only have to apply the drops up to four times a day depending on the climate. For example, those in dry climates will obviously need to apply the drops more than those living in cool, moist areas.
Saline based drops would need to be applied throughout the day to ensure an optimal comfort level. This is why it is important to consider ease-of-use when deciding on a lubrication. Silicone based lubricants are by far the easiest to use. The only noticeable downside when using a silicone based lubricant is that it does have possibility of staining one's clothes. However, if you are careful and only apply the necessary amount of lubricant to your prosthetic, this should not be a problem.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a lubrication is travel. Those traveling to destinations with high altitudes will definitely feel a difference in their comfort level. Additionally, traveling by plane will also be a cause for concern. Not only will a high quality lubricant provide comfort to those with a prosthetic eye, but it will also reduce the chaffing caused by the eyelid rubbing over a dry prosthetic.
If you have an artificial eye, it is vital that you are completely aware of the importance of properly lubricating your prosthetic. Failure to do so will result in not only an uncomfortable experience, but in addition it will also lead to a shortened life span of the prosthetic. This is because the increased friction caused by poor lubrication will wear-down the acrylic plastic typically used in manufacturing prosthetic eyes.