Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Replacing Your Eye: Conditions That Could Lead To Eye Loss And Prosthetic Replacement

If you have experienced trouble with your eyes, you might suffer from the loss of one of your eyes. In addition to losing vision in that eye, you will also experience a change in your appearance. Fortunately, you can have a realistic prosthetic eye placed to help you retain your natural look. People may think that eye loss only results from injury to the eye that cannot be repaired, but some diseases can also cause so much damage that the eye must be removed entirely. Here are some conditions that could lead to eye loss and how the eye is replaced with a prosthetic one. 


A common illness that could eventually necessitate the removal of the eye is glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when the fluid in the eye builds up too much pressure and damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma can be caught and treated with regular eye exams, but when left untreated, blindness can result. In severe cases, the structure of the eye is compromised due to pressure, and the eye itself might need to be removed to fix the problem. 

Another illness that regularly requires removing an eye removal is cancer. If you have a tumor growing inside the eye, your oncologist may suggest removing the eye in order to completely remove the tumor. Eye tumors can spread to other parts of the body, so quick removal might be needed to prevent the spread of the disease. 

Some smaller infections could also harm the eye. For example, ocular herpes, keratitis, and bacterial infections can cause damage to the eye. If these are caught and treated, eye loss is rare. However, if some infections progress to the point of abscess, the eye tissue begins to die and the infection spreads. Removing the eye as a form of infection treatment is usually a last resort to treat the infection. 

Removing the Eye

To remove your eye and replace it with a prosthetic, you will need to decide between two types of surgical options. Each type of surgery helps determine what type of replacement eye you will get. In some cases, the exterior of the eye can be preserved, so you keep the visual tissues that other people see. In others, the entire eye must be removed, including the tissues in the socket that support the eye. If only part of the eye is damaged, part of the eye might also be removed, leaving the rest. 

If you have your whole eye removed, getting a prosthetic is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. The replacement eye helps to preserve the ocular space to keep other tissues from growing into the empty area. If you only have partial eye surgery, you might have a scleral implant, which fills in the areas that were removed from the surgery. 

No matter what kind of surgery you get, you will need to adapt to the changes in your eye. This depends on what type and style of implant you get. You might worry about how the eye will look. Modern "glass" eyes are designed to look as real as possible. The real challenge, however, is making the eye look natural based on movement and pupil dilation. Some newer developments have helped this problem. For example, prosthetic eyes are not fixed in place, so they will move, but not as quickly as a natural eye. Pupil dilation is fixed, but continued research is helping to create new eyes that do respond to ambient light. 

You can find a good prosthetic eye to replace the one you lost. There are many eye types available. Contact a company like Real Life Faces for more information.