Eye sockets need to be regularly checked and prosthetic eyes polished annually.
Removal of an eye (an enucleation), or the inside of an eye (an evisceration), may be necessary for a variety of reasons. Regardless of the underlying disorder, and whether the eye sees or not, the decision to have an eye removed can be difficult and emotionally demanding. Nevertheless, skilled surgery combined with first class prosthetic care can lead to a very acceptable aesthetic result, and in many cases the symmetry and colour match between the artificial and the fellow eye can be very good indeed.
What are the possible treatments for an eye that does not see?
In general, it is better to avoid surgery if possible, with painted contact lenses, or shells (acrylic artificial eyes) worn over a blind eye often looking as good as a real eye. However, if a blind eye becomes painful in spite of the use of drops, or a contact lens or shell cannot be tolerated, or the patient does not have the manual dexterity required to remove the lens or shell each evening, then surgery should be considered as this addresses both the discomfort and allows an artificial eye (an ocular prosthesis) to be worn continuously with only a very occasional need for its removal for cleaning.
What problems can occur with wearing an artificial eye (prosthesis)?
The artificial eye should only be removed very infrequently for cleaning. It is wise to use artificial tears 3-4 times a day and at bedtime to keep the surface pristine. The artificial eye should be checked and polished at least once a year by an ocularist and usually needs replacing after 5-7 years. The socket will be checked at the same time to ensure that there are no problems. With good attention to socket and eyelid hygiene and maintenance of the artificial eye problems such as discharge and discomfort are generally prevented.
Am I allowed to drive after removal of an eye?
For private car or motorcycle drivers, if vision is normal in the other eye and visual field testing is within normal limits and there are no other medical conditions, then Transport Malta does not need to be informed.