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An Insight Into Ocular Prosthetics

Every year, over 55 million eye injuries occur, often causing many individuals to lose one or both eyes. The solution to this lies in cosmetics and the use of ocular prosthetics, also known as artificial eyes. These acrylic devices are designed to improve the appearance and confidence of a patient who lost an eye. However, several questions arise about the origins of ocular prosthetics, their latest advancements, and the process involved in their use.

The history of ocular prosthetics traces back to ancient times as a practice when priestesses would insert a fake eye as a means that it gave mystical powers to look into the future. This context was initially believed to be a myth, but gained credence in 2006 when archaeologists dug up a women’s skeleton dating back 2900 BC, in Zabol, Iran. The skeleton had a clay and gold artificial eye drilled into the left eye socket. In fact, the practice of believing an artificial eye would give mythical powers was widely accepted during this period, as early documents of prototypes were made from metals like gold and silver. However, it wasn't until the 16th century that more realistic prosthetic eyes with painted irises and scleral shells began to emerge. Since then, the design and technology of artificial eyes continued to advance and led to the development of high-quality acrylic eyes used today.

Additionally, the process of creating an ocular prosthetic begins with an examination of the patient's eye socket and surrounding anatomy, followed by precise measurements to determine the appropriate dimensions. The measurement process is often done through the use of a digital scanning and imaging device, which is a quick process that often leaves patients with a cold sensation. Next, the iris is customized to match the patient’s desired eye colour, and ocularists, who are trained professionals, will create a mold and initiate the creation of the artificial eye. They will design the mold with the precise use of paint, cotton, and acrylic to mimic the appearance of a real eye. Quality is vital during this stage, as it ensures the comfort and longevity of the artificial eye. Once the ocular prosthetic is created, the Ocularist will provide the patient with instructions for proper care of the artificial eye.

In conclusion, ocular prosthetics represents a blend of artistry and technology, offering hope and confidence to individuals who have lost an eye due to injury or disease. With a rich history in design that eventually led to the modern and personalized processes that we now know, ocular prosthetics not only restore appearance but also enrich the lives of those who wear them.


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