In unfortunate events, children may also need to have their eyes removed. Same reasons with adults, it is usually an end-stage eye disease or because of a traumatic injury requiring to have their eye removed. Here are some things you need to expect on a child’s first prosthetic eye.
1. The fitting process may be different than an adult. Sometimes, the child’s Ophthalmologist would agree to do the fitting of the prosthetic eye while on a General Anesthesia (GA).
In some cases, GA is not considered, and the usual trial and error fitting of a prosthetic eye is difficult, especially to children who are not cooperative.
2. A Child may need to visit the clinic more often for adjustments.As the body grows, so too should the eye socket. In the early years of wearing a prosthetic eye, parents may notice that the prosthetic eye maybe a little too loose. The ocularist may opt to adjust the size of the prosthetic eye. Adjusting the prosthesis helps the prosthesis to adapt to the changes in the tissues of the eye socket.
3. As the body grows, so should the Prosthetic Eye.As the body grows, particularly the facial area, so too should the prosthetic eye. An eye care professional may need to schedule appointments more often to perform more prosthetic eye adjustments. Enlarging the prosthesis will act as a stimulus to the eye socket to further expand its size.
4. The cleaning regimen will be taught to parents first, and then the child.Yes, wearing a prosthetic eye also needs cleaning. Cleaning the prosthesis and the lids of the child are essential to reduce the chance of infection in the future. Your eye care professional should discuss this routine after releasing the prosthetic eye.
Losing a part of the body could have a significant impact on a child, especially those who are five years old and above. Many would feel the anxiety of not being accepted socially. It is up to their support group to show them that losing an eye can be overcome. It just gets lighter when there are people around the child to support them.
Dr Mark Paroli is a board certified Optometrist with a special interest in Orthokeratology and Ocular Prosthesis. He is an advocate of people with Low Vision and Myopia Management on children.
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