Accepting Your Eye
Children readily adapt to their new eye.
When we see children for the first time they have generally been through the unpleasant and invasive hospital system. They are fed up with the eye drops and the prodding and poking. More than anything they hate being restrained. When they see the white coat they naturally associate us with the unpleasantness they have experienced.
It is important to note here that there is no pain involved in having an artificial eye fitted. Once the child works this out they become more relaxed with the process. After a couple of visits to our clinic most children will run down the corridor and greet us with a friendly smile.
Special note to parents. Please do not bribe your children with the promise of McDonalds if they are good. This automatically alerts the child that this is not going to be a good experience. When the focus is on achieving a good result and the child is involved in achieving this outcome they are so much happier about the experience.
While children have their own experience of adjusting to the loss of an eye we tend to spend most of our time reassuring parents who carry most of the burden of anxiety.
Learn to handle Your Artificial Eye
For artificial eye wearers, becoming confident with handling the eye early on assists greatly with acceptance. An artificial eye is made to create the illusion that you have an eye. If it is done well most people will not realize it is artificial. While it is made to fool everyone else, it is important that you realize that it is just a piece of plastic and from time to time it needs to be removed for cleaning.
Holding the artificial eye in your hand and feeling the contours helps to de-mystify the object. Once you get past the fear of handling the prosthesis then fitting and removing it is only a matter of technique which is easy after you have done it a couple of times. Your ocularist will show you how to do it the first time.
The one thing people say when they’ve mastered their artificial eye is, “wow, that was easy”.
Let go of your dark glasses.
Wearing glasses can be beneficial to correct vision problems and they serve the purpose of protecting the healthy eye. A fashionable fitted pair of glasses can also be used as a visual distraction.
However, Using dark glasses as a mask can be socially isolating. While we use words and language for communication body language, facial expressions and our eyes are all part of the experience of communicating. There is a fine line between using your glasses as a visual distraction and wearing them as a mask. The difference is the tint of the glasses and your personal motivation for wearing the glasses.
Wearing dark glasses indoors tends to draw more attention to your eyes. Letting go of your glasses ( mask) is an important step to accepting your new eye.