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Caring for an Ocular (Eye) Prosthesis

Learning how to care for an eye prosthesis, known as an ocular prosthesis, is vital after eye removal (enucleation).

You can help your child adjust to life after eye removal if you understand how to care for their new prosthesis.

Basic eye prosthesis care

Sometimes you can care for your child’s prosthesis while it is in the eye. At other times, you or your child will need to remove it. Your child will not need to remove the prosthesis every day. It should not be uncomfortable.

Use lubrication drops to:

  • Help with dryness
  • Soothe irritation
  • Increase comfort

Use a clean, warm washcloth to wash around the eyelid and the area around it. Always wipe toward your child’s nose. Wiping away from the nose may cause the prosthesis to turn and rotate in the socket.

In addition, you will need to remove and clean the prosthesis every 2-3 months.

Removing an eye prosthesis

You will remove the eye prosthesis with a suction cup.

  • Wet the tip of the suction cup.
  • Place it on the center of the eye.
  • Remove from the bottom lid first by pulling the lower lid down.
  • Slide the prosthesis down and away from the socket.

Cleaning an eye prosthesis

  • Remove the prosthesis.
  • Wash it with mild soap.
  • Care for the eye socket.
    • Rinse (irrigate) the eye socket
    • Look for and clean out:
      • Eyelashes
      • Dry mucus
      • Discharge

Call your child’s care team if you have questions about cleaning the prosthesis.

Placing an eye prosthesis back into the socket

Replace the eye prosthesis after it is clean.

  • Use lubrication drops (like artificial tears) on the prosthesis.
  • Put a lubrication drop into the socket
  • Ask your child to look down.
  • Be sure the suction cup is holding the prosthesis.
  • Raise the upper lid.
  • Place the top of the prosthesis under the upper lid.
  • Allow the upper lid to come down over the prosthesis.
  • Ask your child to look straight ahead.
  • Pull down the lower lid.
  • Secure the bottom of the prosthesis behind the lower lid.
  • Let the lower lid up over the prosthesis.
  • Squeeze the suction cup to release the eye prosthesis.

Professional ocular prosthesis cleaning

A professional ocularist should clean your child’s eye prosthesis every 6-12 months. There are other professionals who are trained in this process. Please consult your ophthalmologist or eye surgeon.

Regular visual exams help find out if the prosthesis needs adjustments.

Call your child’s care team if you have any questions.

Key Points

  • Caring for an eye (ocular) prosthesis is important.
  • An eye prosthesis does not need to be removed every day.
  • Your child’s eye prosthesis should be removed and cleaned every 2-3 months.
  • A professional should clean and sterilize the eye prosthesis every 6-12 months.
  • Call your child’s care team if you have questions about the ocular prosthesis.

Reviewed: April 2022