Ocular Prosthetic Patient Care:

Basic rules of hygiene should apply and that hands should be washed before working with their eye prosthesis and handling the eye socket. 

The prosthesis needs to be removed before cleaning.

If you are not comfortable with the routine of removing the prosthesis, please visit your Ocularist for instructions.  The routine of removal & cleaning differs from person, to person

How often should a person remove their prosthesis?

- When in consultation with their Ocularist, assessments will be done whether to remove daily or irregularly.

- Sometimes lid closure is a problem or an infection may be present.  In such cases, it is generally advised to remove the prosthesis at night and store dry, having been cleaned, in a dry, airtight container.

- Some people need to remove and clean daily while others experience less irritation when leaving the eye prosthesis in for extended periods.

- Some wait even up to a year before the Ocularist removes the eye prosthesis and performs the annual polishing.

- It is extremely important to discuss the above with your Ocularist.

When cleaning the surface deposits off the eye prosthesis, it is advisable to use a hard/gas permeable surfactant cleaner. Since an eye prosthesis has such a large surface area a few drops will be necessary.  The eye prosthesis is rubbed between the fingers, much like a gas perm contact lens, and then rinsed thoroughly. A soft, clean tissue or lint-free cloth can be used to dry the prosthesis.

Protein removal can be discussed with your Ocularist.

There are artificial eye ultrasonic cleaning units with protein & calcium removal products available specifically for ocular prostheses. Remembering that this would NOT be a spectacle ultrasonic cleaner with its ammonia based cleaner.

Upon replacing their eye prosthesis ,use a hard/gas permeable contact lens wetting / disinfecting solution or a hard lens multi action conditioning solution. Many prefer to use the specially formulated drop that is available in our practice.  Again, with the large surface area the patient should take care to wet the surface, front and back, thoroughly as the eye prosthesis would otherwise irritate the lids on insertion.

NEVER soak a prosthetic eye in detergents. PMMA, with its porous properties, will be adversely affected by most detergents. Never clean with household cleaner, toothpaste, bleaches, nor in water too hot for your fingers. Certain Ophthalmic ointments can affect the plastic.  Please be sure to check with your Ocularist about this.

No matter how careful the cleaning routine, the quality of finish produced by a high-speed buff and polishing agents cannot be equalled. YOU MUST SEE YOUR OCULARIST ANNUALLY FOR THIS POLISH.


Polishing is performed more regularly on certain patients, for example those in workshop situations where the prosthesis scratches more constantly due to debris in the air, or those patients who are particularly sensitive, or if the patient finds handling the prosthesis themselves difficult due to physical infirmity, for example arthritis.

During the appointment, an accurate case history is updated, the socket examined, the patient questioned as to any changes in the prosthesis, comfort etc.

An acrylic prosthesis can be altered during these appointments. They can be enlarged, cut down, veining & scleral shading can be changed, all to achieve a perfect match

Various Cleaning Materials….…See Products on our website…

- Hard / Gas Permeable Contact Lens Cleaners and Conditioning Solutions

The solutions to clean & maintain the prosthesis are mostly from the hard & gas permeable ranges.

The reason for this is that the material of which the prosthesis is manufactured is basically a hydrophobic material (i.e. it does not allow water or tears to spread across its surface easily.)

This non-wetting facet may cause drying problems when the prosthesis is in the socket.

Although many patients are perfectly happy cleaning with clean water, there are definitely patients who are very aware of this drying factor & require exceptional wetting & cleaning of the prosthesis.

There are diminishing ranges of hard & gas permeable solutions still available on the market, & the regimen is tailored to the individual patient preferences.

There are also excellent lid care products on the market to maintain lid health – these can be used with the prosthesis in situ or with it removed.

Additional products in the form of nutritional supplements are available to enhance the quality of the patient’s own tear film.

It is not unusual if you experience some discharge from your socket. The lining is essentially a mucosal tissue and symptoms can vary with changes in the atmosphere, weather, etc. However, if your socket appears to have any sign of infection,(redness, inflammation, or excessive discharge, pain, etc), your ophthalmologist should be contacted immediately.

Remember, colds, flu and hay fever also causes more socket secretions and anti-histamines have a drying effect so caution should be taken to use more lubrication whilst taking anti-histamines.

Remember, there are no dumb questions.  Phone your Ocularist for any questions you may have relating to your prosthesis.

protein removal can be discussed with your Ocularist