Taking Control: a tool for accepting eye loss and the artificial eye

Losing an eye is a major life-changing event.

In previous blogs, we’ve talked about the many and varied emotions people experience after eye loss. Although the eye is only a small part of the body, its loss has a major impact.

In terms of physical changes, adjustment to monocular vision takes time and patience. And psychologically, losing an eye can affect the way people perceive themselves.

Acceptance takes time. Just how much time depends on so many things.

There’s no “quick fix” to getting through the grieving process. But there’s one small thing that does help in accepting an artificial eye.

It’s all about being comfortable with handling an artificial eye.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Some adults who lost an eye as a child have never actually removed and replaced their eyes for cleaning, because one of their parents always did it. Others fear even touching their eye prosthesis.

We are all taught from a young age not to touch our eyes which can create a big barrier to dealing with that part of the body.

We’ve seen first-hand how taking control and handling the prosthesis has made a huge difference to some of our clients.

One eighty-year-old lady who’d just received her first artificial eye was terrified about removing it, in case she couldn’t get it back in. But with the support of her daughter, she managed it. She immediately felt calmer and in control.

Another client reported the same feelings of calmness and control when we helped her handle her own eye. She’d lost her eye as a child and her mother had always looked after it. She never realised how easy it was to look after.

Anyone facing a major health crisis is more equipped to deal with it by taking as much control as possible over their situation. For artificial eye wearers, becoming confident with handling the eye early on, assists greatly with acceptance. The artificial eye then becomes just another body part, not something foreign to be feared.

If we get a chance, we visit people in hospital before they have an eye removed. We take along an artificial eye for them to see and handle.

Accepting an artificial eye is easy for some, and really challenging for others. If you’re struggling with handling your own eye, we’re only too happy to help you gain control.

The one thing people say when they’ve mastered their artificial eye is, “wow, that was easy”.

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

One Response to “Taking Control: a tool for accepting eye loss and the artificial eye”

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  1. Avatar for Michelle C Michelle C says:

    Since my son lost his eye to retinoblastoma at the age of 4, he has had such trouble during visits to the ocularist. It seems no amount of helping him take control will allow him to cooperate without tears. He’s going to be 11 next month and has another appointment today, which we’re all dreading.

    What can we do to help him adapt? Should I ask his ocularist to please try to find him a buddy his age? I know other children are comfortable with removing their own eyes, but he has never gotten beyond touching it. He is comfortable with that, at least.

    Thank you for your site and for addressing this problem.

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