The Eye of the Beholder – literally

Which eye is my real eye and which is glass? What is amazing about having a glass eye (properly known as an ocular prosthesis or scleral shell) is that most people have no idea it’s not real at first, or often at second glance. My favourite fake-out is when a doctor tries to look in my glass eye. I tell them, usually, but I do have a mischievous streak that lets them try sometimes.

Which eye has it?

I lost the vision in my right eye in June 2015. I had a cataract that was awaiting surgery (all complications of Marfan syndrome) but my eye had different ideas. Instead, I had a full lens detachment, full retinal detachment and had multiple surgeries to try and ‘put humpty back together’,  and then had a full hemorrhage and lost the vision. There were further attempts to repair the eye, but with no success, and it has left my eye damaged and reduced in size. The volume and shape of your eye helps to open your eyelid and fill out your eye and features, so without a full, voluminous eye, my eyelid looks small and doesn’t open fully anymore.

In an opportunity to open people’s eyes (guffaw), I share my experience and hope to help dispel some of the stigma of being different.  After a year with a new, not so very pretty right eye that doesn’t see anymore, I really wanted to know if I could use a scleral shell (ocular prosthesis) to fill out my eyelid again. I wasn’t feeling my best and wasn’t  wearing make-up anymore because it highlighted the damage to my right eye. So I set on a journey to find out what I could do about it.

My scleral shell – hand painted by my Ocularist #art

My eye specialists at the time didn’t seem to at concerned about my appearance and after multiple prodding’s, I was given the name of one the Ocularists in Toronto. It’s been quite the experience and so exciting to learn how a scleral shell is built for you. It is truly a marrying of art and science and I have had nothing but a wonderful experience having one created and fitted for me. Stay tuned for a new post describing the process and more of the before and after.

Having the eye fitted is much more than just about appearance and being vain. It gives me the opportunity to blend in a bit, but also to forget about the trauma, the disfigurement, and the loss, just for a few hours of every day. It is so much more than an eye to me – it’s hope.

Image from Webb Ocular Prosthesis, Toronto – amazing eye artists

Webb Ocular Prosthesis

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