General InformationClick to expand
What We Do
We make custom artificial eyes and custom scleral lenses (sometimes known as scleral shells). All of our prostheses are hand-painted to match the companion eye. They are also custom fitted, which is normally done by taking an impression of the socket.
Which is the right choice for you?
Artificial eyes are for those people who were either born with a congenital anomaly called anophthaalmos (born completely without eye(s)), or who have had one or both eyes removed for whatever reason, be it accident or disease. The surgery for this is called an ENUCLEATION.
Scleral lens prostheses are for those people who generally still have an eye that is blind; it is usually atrophied and painless. If there is pain associated with the eye, a surgery called an EVISCERATION may be done. An evisceration is not the removal of an eye, but the removal of the contents of an eye. A scleral lens may also be worn by patients that may have been born with a congenital anomaly such as microphthalmos, where the patient's eye(s) are underdeveloped and have no sight.
Taking Care of Your New EyeClick to expand
Taking Care of Your New Eye
What you should know
Having a prosthesis should be, and in most cases is, fairly care free apart from lubricating and cleaning. Once a patient has their new eye, it should stay in place for months at a time. It should never be painful. If you experience pain, please consult with your Ocularist.
In general, taking the eye out to clean it causes build-up and discharge. It has been shown that a prosthesis actually stays cleaner when it is left alone. You can play, work, run, swim, and sleep with it in place. The patient should return on average every six months for sterilizing and polishing as well as to have the socket inspected, and the eye checked for cosmesis. Some patients require less attention, and some require more. It depends on the condition of your socket, body chemistry, and even your job. A minimum of one visit per year is highly recommended.
A prosthesis' life-span is approximately 5 years in adults and 2 - 4 years in children. During the time that you have your prosthesis, it may be necessary for additional maintenance (e.g. increases or decreases) in certain areas to optimize fit, function and comfort.
History of the Artificial EyeClick to expand
History of the Artificial Eye
A look back through time
Evidence of gold and bitumen artificial eyes has been found dating back as far as 2900-2800 B.C. in Iran. The eyes were semi-circular and about one inch in diameter, with two holes drilled (one on either side) so that a string could be fastened and tied around the head, exterior to the socket.
Roman and Egyptian priests produced artificial eyes out of clay that were attached to a piece of cloth and worn outside of the socket at around 500 B.C.
Later in the 16th century, Venetians produced the first glass eyes. They were crude, very delicate, and probably very uncomfortable. Then Paris became the hot-spot for glass eyes until about the 18th century. The germans later perfected the art of glass eye-making through their superior glass blowing methods, and Germany became the centre of this technology.
The Germans shipped both glass eyes and the glass to make eyes to many parts of the world, including North America. When the second World War started, supplies for glass eyes became scarce. In the U.S. inventive army, dentists devised methods of making artificial eyes from the plastics already in use for dentures.
Today we use something very close to those early plastic eyes, with the help of a few technological advances; superior implants, impression techniques and better surgical understanding of the function of the prosthesis have brought us to the level of quality and reliability that we experience today. The plastic we use is Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), an acrylic that, if cured properly, has shown no known allergic reactions.
How our fees workClick to expand
How our fees work
Most patients are partially covered by the Assistive Devices Program (ADP). ADP is part of the Ministry of Health in Ontario. What this means is that if you currently hold a valid OHIP card, we will supply the paperwork needed to get you registered with ADP. A form will have to be completed by either your family Doctor, an Ophthalmologist, or Optometrist.
ADP currently sets our fees and pays 75% of the fee for a registered patient. The remaining 25% remains the responsibility of the patient to pay. We will supply in return a receipt suitable to claim from a health insurance provider. If you do not have additional health insurance, the receipt may be used on an income tax return as a medical expense.
If you as a patient are covered by WSIB, DVA, ODSP or OW, we make the claim on your behalf.
External LinksClick to expand
Resources For More Information
The American Society of Ocularists - ocularist.org
International Children's Anophthalmia and Microphthalmia Network (ICAN) - anopthalmia.org
U.S. National Eye Institute - nei.nih.gov
Resources for Artificial Eyes & Ocularists - artificialeyes.net