Why Does My Artificial Eye Socket Itch?


Patients often ask, why do my eye lids itch on the artificial eye side and what can I do about it?  

Although socket itching can be caused by normal allergies, proteins accumulating on the front surface of the prosthesis usually are the cause.  

As a prosthetic eye is worn, it becomes coated with the proteins from the tear layer.  This coating causes an allergic reaction to the underside of the upper lid and often results in an itching sensation.  Eye drops can help with this problems and there are very good eye drops on the market that may provide you some relief.

Bausch and Lomb makes a drop called "Opcon A" that rally works well for inching.  They can be purchased over the counter at any drug store, but we know Costco sells them two bottles to a box for about $10.00  However, Wal-Mart has the same formula under their Equate brand® called Eye Allergies Relief.

Your artificial eye needs to be cleaned  periodically to remove this protein.  However, most doctors and ocularists recommend removing an artificial eye only as necessary, and that too much handling can cause problems and increased secretions. 

The quest  for most new patients is to find the amount of time that they can wear their prosthesis before it needs cleaning or starts to itch.  One way to make this determination, is to wear the prosthesis until it starts to feel uncomfortable or begins to itch.  

   Note the time the eye was worn before the onset of these symptoms and remove the eye for the next cleaning well in advance of this time period.  With  experience, most patients will find the best schedule for their eye socket hygiene requirements. 

Many ocularist have recall systems within their office and send out reminder cards for cleaning and polishing.  If you feel uncomfortable about handling your prosthesis, ask your ocularist to send you a reminder card based on your needs.

With proper maintenance, you will find wearing a prosthesis to be a comfortable experience that is easy to manage.