Eyelashes serve an important purpose. They protect the eyes from dust and dirt. The same applies when the eye is artificial.
But for some people, eyelashes can be the cause of an uncomfortable and constantly irritated eye socket.
We’ve seen clients whose eyelashes are curled and lying flush against the prosthesis. In these situations, rather than protecting the eye from dust and dirt, the lashes are trapping it in, resulting in a mucky discharge. This discharge can’t escape, and so builds up, increasing the discomfort for the wearer. In terms of appearance, the artificial eye has lost its shine and looks dull.
Why does this happen?
In our experience, eyelashes that adhere to the eye often result from an eye prosthesis that has not been updated for many years. The inside of the eyelid has become scarred and so has retracted. This effectively shortens the inside of the lid, thereby making the eyelashes curl inwards.
Dealing with such a problem is not one we’ve been trained for, and we intend bringing it up at the next Ocularist’s Association meeting. We believe there is a surgical technique to remedy the problem, and we’re hoping to do some research on it for another blog.
In the meantime, we’ve found a technique that has solved the problem for a couple of our clients. It’s simple. We plucked their eyelashes for them.
The process isn’t too painful, and the results speak for themselves. Once the offending lashes were removed, the clients’ eyes brightened up and their discomfort gone. And the missing lashes are less noticeable than eyelashes stuck to the prosthesis.
If you have any suggestions about how else this problem could be handled, please drop us a line.