Hygiene Care for the Ocular Prosthesis, Eyelids
and Eye Socket
The morning routine for hygiene care begins with a thorough
hand scrub, emphasis on the fingertips. A warm wet
face cloth with a 'no more tears' baby shampoo is then applied
to the eyelids since they are normally crusted with secretion.
(This shampoo has a neutral pH and will not sting or smart
the socket tissue or the fellow eye, plus it destroys bacteria.)
The warm wet face cloth will soften the secretion allowing
you to remove it by wiping inward toward the nose.
(Do not wipe outward, because this
could rotate the prosthesis out of position, or cause it
to fall out of the cavity.)
Once the lids and eyelashes are free of secretion, you can
proceed to one of the following routines for cleaning the
ocular prosthesis, while it is in the cavity:
- For the person who showers:
- The water can be adjusted to a fine spray. The
sighted eye is then covered with the hand for protection
while the spray strikes the lids and prosthesis.
- For the non-shower buff:
- A one ounce ear syringe can be used with tap water or
distilled water. The water is sucked into the syringe.
The syringe is then held in the palm of the hand, while
the hand is in a 'hand salute' position. The syringe
is also supported by the bridge of the nose while the
tip is near the inner edge of the prosthesis. The
head is tipped to the side and the drainage is caught
in a face cloth or hand towel.
If you have sinus,
hay fever, asthma, allergies or a cold in you system,
expect an increased amount of tearing and secretion.
This is a natural experience. It is suggested you use
a normal saline solution which you can purchase at your pharmacy
or you may make it yourself (¼ teaspoon of table salt
to 1 quart of boiled water). Keep this in a covered
container at room temperature, not in a refrigerator.
The solution is good for a week. Irrigate three times
a day until the secretions abate.
Always carry a pocket pack of tissue and use it when necessary
to remove any secretion from the prosthesis or lids.
The average amount of wiping is three to five times a day.
Avoid the use of a handkerchief or bare fingers.
- Never place
the prosthesis in alcohol or other harsh chemical substance,
this can damage the plastic surface and cause irritation
to the conjunctival
It is suggested the prosthesis be removed once a month, and
checked for protein deposits. Protein deposits will
give the prosthesis a dull appearance. The prosthesis
can be washed with a soft face cloth with soap, liquid detergent
or 'no more tears' type baby shampoo. Rinse the prosthesis
with water and reinsert.