A Time to Let Go

It is natural to think that removing an eye is the absolute last resort. To the medical team dedicated to saving the eye it is the end of the road. It is understandable then that the common thinking is to preserve the eye at all costs. We understand and totally support that view.

At the same time we sometimes see cases where the eye might have been removed years earlier. One of our clients, Alan Harrison, is a case in point.

Over time the pressure in Alan’s blind eye prevented the successful use of a scleral lens. Alan tolerated the eye long after the benefit was outweighed by the adverse effects it was causing. He held the belief that he should keep the eye for as long as possible. This advice was given to him years earlier when the eye had looked very different.

If an eye is no longer functional, creates discomfort and adversely affects a person’s appearance and lifestyle, it may be time to let it go. A comfortable attractive prosthesis restores a natural appearance and is a significant boost to confidence and morale. In cases such as these the choice of eye removal (enucleation) might be of considerable benefit. What has been your experience? Is Alan’s story similar to your own? I would welcome your comments.

More information on Artificial Eye Facts.
More information on Emotional Response To Eye Loss.
More information on Support For Eye Loss.

2 Responses to “A Time to Let Go”

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  1. Avatar for Janet Shaw Janet Shaw says:

    It is interesting the belief that the eye should be preserved at all costs. When my right eye became thysic (ie it died), my surgeon got annoyed with me when I started asking about having it removed. He thought I should wait for about a year before making such a big decision. What he didn’t listen to was that I was in constant pain that no medication or eye drop could alleviate, that the eye had shrunk – and I was sure it would keep shrinking – and that it was keeping me from going out because of the pain and its appearance. When I found out that there was no point keeping the eye to perhaps increase my chances of some future transplant or bionic eye, I made the decision to have it removed. And it was the best choice I’ve ever made. Pain gone, regained my freedom and have a great looking eye.

  2. Avatar for Bill Emery Bill Emery says:

    When I was diagnosed with Choroidal Melanoma in my left eye, I was basically told that radiation therapy was the best option for ‘…psychological and aesthetic….’ reasons by the specialist. I wasn’t told the success rate was only marginal, and the chance of recurrence reasonably high necessitating regular checks for the rest of my life. Eyesight would only be marginal after treatment as well.
    Only after enucleation, due to the treatment being unsuccessful, did I find out I had an option (though I am unsure I would have taken it at that time) of having the eye removed. However I found someone, who had a medical background and the same as me, didn’t waste any time choosing enucleation over radiation……..I was too scared to ask why!!! My eyesight was reasonable after the treatment, but once told the melanoma was still growing, could hardly wait to have it removed….I wanted to live!! I perhaps didn’t have any real choice in the end, but feel sometimes specialists will tend to opt for preserving the eye over enucleation regardless of the cost to the patient. I can partly understand their desire to not admit defeat, but in the end it needs to be OUR choice, armed with ALL the facts.

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