Anophthalmia is the medical term for the absence of one or both eyes where both the globe (human eye) and the ocular tissue are missing from the orbit.
Anophthalmia is a rare condition in which one or both eyes fail to form during pregnancy. Should it occur in both eyes, the child will be born blind.
Unfortunately there is no cure for anophthalmia.
To ensure the proper growth of the eye sockets as well as the development of the facial bones, Eyes Alive recommends the fitment of an ocular prosthetic, more commonly known as an artificial or glass eye, although artificial eyes are made from acrylic these days.
It is advised that the artificial eye is fitted as soon as possible; the youngest patients we have helped were 2 month olds to assist in bony orbit development.
When a patient is only seen later into childhood or into adulthood, the bony orbit is often no longer symmetrical to the other eye’s orbit and the eye sockets are very difficult to work on as they shrink with time.
Adult patients we’ve tended to usually say “I should have done it years ago”, as the reaction they receive from people around them drastically changes once the prosthetic eyes have been fitted.
The ocular prosthesis is important not only from a developmental perspective but also from a cosmetic perspective in that it gives people confidence to face the public without standing out.
It is not quick work to correct the facial development in adults and many appointments are necessary.
We have very few patients in the practice with anophthalmia, however many more babies seem to be born with microphthalmia.