Pirate Picnic – Yarr!

We’re all very excited about the upcoming Pirate Picnic.

The idea of the Pirate Picnic is to give family members an opportunity to wear a patch for the day. This allows them to get a sense of what it’s like to function with monocular vision.

With Paul in Dubai, the busyness of the school holidays and the rush to send out the invitations, we accidentally printed and sent out the wrong version!

There are just a few mistakes which were sent in this version:

  • The cost – the picnic does not cost $5/person or $15/family, it is free. Please do still bring a salad or afters to share.
  • X does not mark the spot – we were unfortunately unable to book the area we are usually in, instead we will be closer to the lake, near the zigzag walkway. It’s in the centre of the map on the invitation.
  • Our address – we somehow got our own address wrong! We are at 12/1329 Hay street, not 1392.

It is still an RSVP event, you can call Jo on 9562 1715 or send her an email.

We hope to see you there – YARR!



Emily’s Practice Eye Saves The Day

Something really wonderful happened this week.

My niece Emily works with us as an apprentice. She is already highly skilled at polishing eyes.

Lately, she’s started painting and making practice eyes and we’ve been impressed with the results.

This week a new client came in with an infection on his eye lid. His socket was also swollen and sore.

Once we saw his artificial eye it was easy to understand what the problem was.

Our client had his eye made overseas and it had very rough edges. This alone would certainly make an eye socket unhappy.

Once we took out the old damaged prosthesis and saw the state of the socket there was no way we could put it back in.

So there was a problem. Our client didn’t have a viable eye prosthesis.

Then Paul remembered Emily’s practice eyes. He chose a brown one and adjusted it slightly so it sat well.

Our client then had a temporary eye that he could wear while the socket swelling settled.

Although it wasn’t customised Emily’s temporary eye looked better than the client’s old prosthesis.

It was also highly polished so our client said it felt much more comfortable.

The best part was that Emily was here with us to see how useful her work had been.

She also got to see a very relieved and happy client walk out the door wearing a temporary eye she had made.

It was a very moving moment for us.

We had just witnessed the birth of a third generation of eye makers.

Whether Emily continues with this work is up to her.

What is certain is that we felt so very proud of what she had already achieved.



The Impact of A New Diagnosis

We get to meet many parents who have just come from the hospital with their child.

They’ve been told that their child will need surgery to remove an eye.

My friend Julia wrote a blog about how it feels to be given a diagnosis like that.

Her blog What A New Diagnosis Does to You may be helpful to have a look at.



Air Travel With An Artificial Eye

Many people find it uncomfortable travelling by plane as their eyes get very dry in the air-conditioning.

This effect is even worse if you happen to have an eye prosthesis.

We’ve had lots of great feedback about Ocu-Glide.

This is a silicon based eye drop which is totally inorganic. This means that it doesn’t have a useby date – or to put it simply, it doesn’t go off.

You only need a little drop of Ocu-Glide to stop the prosthesis from drying out. It doesn’t need to be reapplied for several hours.

This can make a big difference to your comfort level when travelling.

Sadly, you can’t use it in your real eye – you’ll have to get other eye drops for that.

Other useful tips include;
– Avoid alcohol.
– Drink lots of water.
– Wear the little sleep masks over your eyes.

Ocu-Glide isn’t widely available. You can buy it over the internet or from some Ocularists.

Here is a link to their website if you would like to find out more: Ocu-Glide

Bon Voyage!



Why Does My Artificial Eye Feel Cold In The Winter?

I was chatting to a client today and he mentioned that his eye gets cold in the winter.

I’ve heard people say this before. The reason is that the artificial eye doesn’t have blood vessels like a normal eye would.

It is the blood flow that keeps a real eye warm.

You’d imagine that the heat of the body would make a prosthesis warm and to a certain degree I am sure it does.

However it is a fact that some people who wear an artificial eye experience it as being cold in the winter. Is that your experience?



Can You Fly Planes When You Have An Artificial Eye?

You most certainly can fly planes when you have an artificial eye.

We’ve just had a brilliant email from Leo Brogan telling us about his career as a pilot.

Here is Leo’s story-

I lost my left eye due to an industrial accident in 1968. At the time I was involved in sport parachuting/skydiving.

I commenced parachuting again within a month of leaving hospital, still with the hospital dressing on my eye.

A prosthetic eye was made and this has been satisfactory.

I gained a private pilot licence in 1970 and a commercial pilot licence in 1992, followed by an instrument rating in 1993.

I then flew aircraft on charter until 2006 when I retired from commercial flying. I now run my own business at Gisborne in Victoria.

Life can go on normally after losing an eye if you decide not to be an invalid !!

Thanks to Leo for sharing his inspiring story.

If you have a dream I urge you to get out there and do it.

Having an artificial eye is no barrier to a life full of fun and adventure.



New Website for Ocularists

We’ve been delighted with the success of our international website Artificial Eyes.

Both ocularists as well as people with eye loss have found it a valuable resource.

It has become clear that ocularists need a website specifically developed for them.

This has been my inspiration for launching the new website Resources For Ocularists.

In the future I would love to build a set of resources that can help promote the knowledge base of ocularists world wide.

If you’d like to contribute to this project I would be happy to hear from you.



How To Save Yourself Time & Money With A New Artificial Eye

You can really help your ocularist by giving them a full set of relevant facts before you see them.

Let them know the state of your eye prosthesis and socket, the age of the artifical eye and any medical complication you are currently experiencing.

Is there pain, discharge or any other difficulty?

This might really help save your time, money and possibly frustration.

This was bought home to me recently when things got a little complicated with a new eye project. 

A woman came to see us from interstate.  I recommended  a good local ocularist but she was keen on travelling to see us.

It wasn’t until she got here that I discovered that her artificial eye was an old glass eye.  She also had an infection as a result of a scratch on the cornea.

This meant that she needed medical attention and healing time prior to working on the eye.  As eye tissue has it’s own schedule for healing, she needed to stay for a couple of weeks.

It was a struggle to make the new prosthesis as the eye socket was hyper-sensitive.

Now she is back home and has gone back to wearing the old glass eye,   convinced that she is allergic to the acrylics of her new prosthesis.

It is disappointing that we didn’t have time to work on the new prosthesis after everything had settled. 

Hopefully, this client will return to us in the next few months.

I am sure that as the socket is completely settled now we will be able to create an amazing prosthesis for her.

This is a really good example of how a full set of facts might have saved this woman a lot of incovenience and possibly led to a better outcome.

So try to give your ocularist a full of set of facts.  This will help us get you the very best result.



Why Artificial Eye Care Is Still Important in Palliative Care

I’m up at the Darwin clinic at the moment and this time round it’s been very quiet.

This has worked well as I have been able to spend some time with a patient who is in palliative care.

I was very heartened that he was referred by the eye clinic despite his prognosis.

It’s impressive that this man’s needs are considered a priority despite him being bed ridden.

His current prothesis was very small and old. This was creating a discharge which was distressing to the patient and his visitors.

His new prothesis has improved both his appearance and morale.

Although he is unable to speak he wrote on a piece of paper that this had made his day.

Appearance plays a big role in how people feel.

I am so pleased that other health professionals feel the way I do.

They have made this man’s feelings a priority and I just think that is so cool.



Dubai Artificial Eye Clinic- December 2010

After twenty years of practicing my trade as an ocularist in Australia I’ve branched out and have been consulting in Dubai for the past two years.

I consult at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai which is located at Dubai Healthcare City.

Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai is a branch of Moorfields London.

Moorfields London was founded in 1804 and opened in 1805 in London.

It is the oldest and one of the largest centres for ophthalmic treatment, teaching and research in the world.

It is the largest eye care facility in Europe. Read more



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