Can we improve the tolerance of an ocular prosthesis by enhancing its surface finish?

Andre S. Litwin, Emma Worrell, Jonathan C. P. Roos, Barry Edwards, Raman Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Patients who wear an ocular prosthesis frequently suffer with dry eye symptoms and socket discharge, often on a daily basis. The aim of the study was to determine whether a smoother, optical quality polish of the prosthesis’ surface could improve symptoms and wear tolerance. The study was designed as single-center, single-masked, prospective randomized controlled trial. Eighty-eight consecutive patients undergoing annual ocular prosthesis maintenance review were approached from the prosthesis clinic. Forty-one out of 49 eligible patients were recruited. Methods: Participants were randomized to either a standard or a higher “optical quality” polish of their prosthesis. At entry to the trial, at 1 month, and 12 months they completed a questionnaire covering cleaning, lubricant use, inflammation, discomfort, and discharge. Lower scores indicated better tolerance of the prosthesis. At each visit, the prosthesis was stained and photographed against a standard background to assess deposit build up. Primary outcome measures were 1) a subjective questionnaire score and 2) an objective assessment of surface deposit build-up on prosthetic eyes by standardized photographic grading. Results: Forty-one patients participated in the study. The median age of their prosthesis was 36 months (range 9 months–40 years). There was no statistically significant difference in questionnaire scores or deposit build up between the 2 groups at baseline. By 12-months, the higher optical quality polish showed a statistically significant reduction in symptoms and frequency of discharge (2.19 vs. 3.85; p = 0.05—lower scores better). Scoring of the prosthesis’ deposit build-up showed a significant difference at 1 month, but this was not sustained at 12 months. Conclusions: Creating an optical quality finish to an ocular prosthesis reduces deposit build up on artificial eyes. The authors found this modification improved patient tolerance at 12 months.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-135
JournalOphthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

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