Our ocularists have one suggestion and it is used like a creed around our office, "LEAVE IT IN AND LEAVE IT ALONE". Those words pretty much sum things up. The reason for this is the more that you disrupt the tissues and tear film the more irritation you cause yourself through excess mucus and discomfort. If you are experiencing prolonged discomfort, take your prosthetic out and inspect the socket and the prosthesis for foreign materials, do not hesitate to contact your ocularist or physician.
If and when you do remove your prosthesis, make certain it is kept in water so that any secretions that may have built up on the surface will not dry and become an irritant. If you have a spare or duplicate prosthesis, it should be kept in a watertight container filled with a preserved saline contact lens solution to avoid drying out and possible delamination. Storage in strong solutions should be avoided to prevent absorption of these fluids by the plastic. The most hazardous chemical to a prosthetic eye is rubbing alcohol. Any contact with alcohol and the prosthesis is ruined immediately.
The frequency of cleaning your prosthesis is an area in which many ocularists and ophthalmologists do not agree. Some recommend their patients remove the prosthesis at regular intervals, perhaps on a daily basis, for cleaning. Others feel that handling the prosthesis only when necessary will minimize infection in the socket and reduce irritation of the tissues. Our ocularists believe the latter will result in less discharge and buildup of eye secretions, allowing a much more comfortable wear.
The only way you will be able to determine the best interval for cleaning your own prosthesis is through your own experience. Some patients do not remove their prosthesis between bi-annual cleanings and polishing by their ocularist. The moral of the story is that the more you handle your prosthesis the more problems you can create for yourself.
If there is a real reason to remove your prosthesis always first wash and rinse your hands thoroughly. Hold the palm of one hand below the prosthesis you're removing to catch it. Depress the lower lid and pull down and outward away from your nose with the index finger of the other hand so that the bottom edge of the prosthesis slides out of the socket and into your hand. You may also want to consider using a suction cup to remove the prosthesis, which is provided to our patients. All patients must use a suction cup to insert their prosthesis before leaving our office.
Useful Eye Care Products
Tears Again Ointment
Tears Again Gel
Ocusoft Eyelid Scrubs