Which documents should you bring with you and what happens when you visit one of our surgeries?
Before the first visit
If your eye was removed, you generally receive a so-called conformer (temporary plastic shell) fitted into the eye socket when you are still in hospital. At this early stage, you should phone us so that we can arrange an appointment promptly. Your first visit to us takes place about two weeks after the enucleation/evisceration. During this time, swelling in the eye socket may possibly keep going down.
If you are registered under the Government health insurance scheme, you will already have been handed a prescription for the treatment with us in the clinic. If a conformer was fitted, you will receive an additional second prescription about this. Please be aware that the health insurance scheme asks for an additional contribution of 10 euros per artificial eye unless you have a relevant exemption certificate (if necessary, ask your health insurance scheme). Prosthetic eyes paid for by the orthopaedic supply centres and social security offices are subject to authorization.
Your first appointment
Please don’t forget to bring the following to every appointment with us:
- a valid prescription from the eye consultant or the clinic where you are being treated
(redeemable with us, independent of the quarterly period)
- 10 euros additional contribution
(exempt from this rule are minors and individuals who have a valid exemption certificate. Please bring relevant proof with you where appropriate.)
At your first appointment, we spend a particularly large amount of time with you. Your ocularist will give you detailed advice and answer all your questions about your new life with the prosthetic eye.
Provided that there are no medical constraints, they will then make with you your first prosthetic eye. In order to do this, some dummy eyes will be fitted, so as to determine the ideal shape for your artificial eye. Don’t worry, this doesn’t hurt! Then come the choice of suitable colour and the individual fitting to your eye socket. Of course you will also receive detailed instruction on how to handle and care for your prosthetic eye at this appointment. We expect the whole appointment will last one to two hours; then you can go home straight away with your new artificial eye.
Wearing a prosthetic eye is, of course, somewhat strange at first but it shouldn’t be painful. However, if you feel pain or pressure after fitting, please get in contact with us as soon as possible. We’ll find the cause and solve the problem together.
The follow-up treatment procedure
As the eye socket will further heal in the first months after the operation and the swelling in it will go down, you’re entitled to a new prosthetic eye three months after the first model. You will get the relevant prescription from your eye consultant.
Thereafter, you have the right to have a new artificial eye made once a year. All prosthetic eyes are exposed to environmental influences and are subject to natural wear and tear. The lacrimal fluid attacks the surface and makes it gradually become rough. So to avoid hassle and to prevent skin irritation, it is advisable to exchange the prosthetic eye after a year. Your eye consultant will give you a new prescription without special authorisation.
If at any time you are unhappy
If at any time you are unhappy with your prosthetic eye after an appointment, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can make an appropriate adjustment. Please bear in mind that we can consider complaints only within two months of making the prosthesis. With later complaints we will have to ask you to produce a new prescription.
If you are unable to visit us in person
We generally recommend that you always visit us in person. That enables our ocularists to identify any possible changes in your eye socket and to fit your new eye prosthesis accordingly. Also, the best results for selecting the colour of the iris are achieved when this can be matched to your healthy eye in your presence.
If you are, however, unable to come in person to an appointment you can always send us a well-fitting (!) prosthesis by mail. We can use this as a model for your new artificial eye. Important: Please do not forget to include in your package a valid prescription as well as a payment in the amount of € 10 (or a copy of your exemption certificate)!
Otherwise you also have the possibility to make an appointment for a third party to visit us with the sample eye and prescription. In that way the new eye prosthesis can be taken away immediately, which will save you several days of waiting. This option makes sense particularly when you do not have a substitute prosthetic available in the interim.
Important notice: Please bear in mind that we can’t undertake any house calls. The manufacture of an artificial eye requires specialised and extensive equipment that is only available to us in our branches and on consultation days.
It could be that for various reasons the eye prosthesis has to be replaced within a year:
Environmental influences such as dust or the like.
If you come into contact with, for example, lots of dust or dirt as part of your job, this can lead to a reduction in the wearing time of your artificial eye. The first signs that you need a new prosthesis are increased tear flow, viscous, white to yellow secretion or itching in the eye socket and the eyelid margins. If these symptoms last for several days you should immediately contact your eye doctor.
Growth of children
An exception to this is with children and teenagers as they are still growing. With them it is necessary to have a prosthetic eye fitted more often than once a year. As a rule of thumb we say “New shoes, new eye.” If you think that your child’s artificial eye is getting too small, please get in contact with us as soon as possible.
Of course one day it may also happen that your artificial eye falls out and breaks. If your prosthetic eye is broken or damaged, please arrange an appointment with us immediately. You’ll need a new prescription from your eye consultant for the new eye with the note that the current prosthetic eye has been broken.
Please bring all the available fragments to your appointment! This is very important for us so that we can reconstruct the shape of your prosthetic eye as best we can.
Incidentally, it is always sensible to have a replacement prosthesis handy, in case one day your prosthesis gets broken. In this way, your eye socket doesn’t remain unprotected until the appointment. So it’s also worthwhile regularly keeping your annual appointment. This means you’ll always have a suitable and largely up-to-date replacement prosthesis at your disposal.