The Role of Ocularists

An Ocularist is somebody who manufactures and fits artificial eyes.

You may need an artificial eye because of eye cancer, or following an accident.

We believe that an Ocularist’s role is to produce an artificial eye that is indistinguishable from the real eye.
Paul Geelen, Jenny Geelen

We are both founding members of the Ocularists Association of Australia, and operate under the Association’s Code of Ethics. We recommend that you find the professional body for Ocularists in your area to help select your Ocularist.

An Ocularist requires two complementary skills:

  • They must be excellent technicians, skilled at the process of taking eye impressions, manufacturing eyes and fitting them correctly. An eye that is the right shape will move naturally in the socket and is comfortable to wear. High quality material ensures the long life of the prosthesis.
  • They must have the artistic flair required for the delicate task of matching colours and painting a realistic replica.

How an Ocularist creates an eye

An impression of the eye socket is taken and detailed observations of the client’s face and natural eye are made. A new artificial eye of the correct shape is manufactured, using the highest quality raw materials.

The eye is hand-painted, matching colours to the natural eye. Each eye is specially fitted to ensure comfort and natural movement.

When a perfectly natural result isn’t possible (for example, if an injury has affected the eye socket or surrounding tissue), the Ocularist needs to create the most accurate replica achievable.

Procedures are conducted in consultation with the treating ophthalmologist, if they are available.

A natural looking eye

For a person who has lost an eye, wearing a natural-looking artificial eye helps them return to a normal lifestyle. It assists in restoring confidence and dignity, and speeds recovery from the trauma of eye loss. Creating a natural-looking and comfortable eye for each client is what we pride ourselves on. By natural looking, we mean the artificial eye looks so natural that in most situations people will not know that an eye is artificial.

To achieve this result, we make, paint and fit each eye by hand.

Over the course of writing for our Blog, we have posted on a variety of topics that give you more of an idea about what an Ocularist does, and the sorts of issues they can help you with.

Some relevant posts are refererred to here, to try and help you understand more about the role of your Ocularist. But we encourage you to search through our archives (there is a search box in the sidebar) for specific information of interest to you.

If you have any specific questions about the role of an Ocularist, please ask them here.

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    During the fitting I was asked why I had retained my natural eye and had not had it removed. I explained that the specialist I saw when it first happened recommended I keep my natural eye as long as possible. That started the cogs working. When the scleral cover rejected I started to go down the track of having it removed and a prosthetic fitted. .. [my new artificial eye] has changed my whole outlook on life.
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