How to Care for Your Eye Prosthesis


  1. FOR CLEANING: Rinse eye and socket with Normal Saline Solution (eye wash) twice daily, without removing the prosthesis.  This can be accomplished by partially filling an eyecup, holding this against your socket, then tip head back while moving your eye back and forth.  Some patients prefer to just “squirt” the socket directly from the bottle.  Many bottles come with a nipple-type top, which makes it fairly convenient to direct the stream of saline.  Rarely should the eye be removed to clean the socket – however, exceptions do occur*.  If you have a cold or allergies, you may need to increase the number of times you clean your eye per day. Saline Solution can be purchased anywhere contact lens products are sold.  *For those patients wearing a “shell eye”, one that fits over an existing eye, removal of the prosthesis at night may be necessary. Otherwise, it should be removed at least once every 3 weeks. Alkalol (not to be confused with alcohol) is a nasal mucus solvent and cleaner that some patients have found to thin the mucus secretions in the socket and greatly reduce drainage.  ONLY use this in a socket where your eye has been removed. (It can give a normal eye a burning sensation.)  Start with one drop and increase as needed.
  2. LUBRICATION:  You have several choices. They are listed below by price, and convenience in shopping for them. The instructions for using them are the same for all. Start with one drop as needed. Some prefer to just use oil at night around the eyelids to prevent normal nighttime secretions from becoming overly dry; instead, the oil softens the secretions which lessens the amount of “scratching” damage done to the eye in the morning due to dried up drainage. Note: oils may interfere with medicinal drops being used – you may need to discontinue or delay use while using the medication. For the average artificial eye wearer. Safflower Oil** has been found to be an excellent lubrication for the socket (it does not thicken in cold weather). Safflower Oil may be purchased at any grocery store – use the bottle for cooking, reserving a little for your eye. (We will provide you with a bottle for this application.)**Reference:  Guibor & Gougelmann (eds.):  Problems and Treatment of Enucleation, Eviseration, Exposure, vol. 2, p. 239:  The Dry Socket – A New Lubricant, Noble, Hill & Webb.  Stratton Intercontinental Medical Book Corporation, 381 Park Ave. South, NY, NY 10016. A second lubrication choice, generally found at health food stores, is Coconut Oil.  It starts off thick and pasty, but melts quickly. Again, it is not necessary to remove the artificial eye to apply the lubrication. Do not use if you have a nut allergy! Other over-the-counter lubrications that work well are brands like Sustane, Refresh, and some generic ones. These have been highly recommended by my patients.  They range from very light lubricants, to gels. Walgreens has an equally good alternative called, “eye lube.” Ocu-Sil is a lighter weight silicone that can be purchased from or call 888-628-7455. Another silicone option is OSL, and may be purchased from Factor II at 1-800-332-8688 or Specify light (medium, heavy, and extra heavy are also available).
  3. POLISHING: A professional polishing is recommended at least once a year.

Questions about care for your Prosthetic Illusions eye prosthesis?  Call 303-973-8482