An ocularist is a trained professional who manufactures and fits custom made ocular prostheses or artificial eyes. He or she is also qualified to fit scleral or haptic shells (lenses that fit over non-sensitive, blinded eyes).
The ocularist works closely with the patient and his or her ophthalmologist and/or facial surgeon in order to ensure that the prosthetic provided matches the patient's remaining eye as closely as possible and that it fits perfectly into the socket. The ocularist is also the one who instructs the patient on the care of the artificial eye and to whom the patient will return periodically for maintenance thereof.
The loss or disfiguration of an eye can have an overwhelming impact on the victim's life as it affects him or her not only on a physical level but also emotionally and socially. In addition to having to come to terms with either partial or complete blindness, victims of eye injuries must also face the challenges associated with the disfiguration and loss of functionality that comes with such injuries, such as depression and low self-esteem. Therefore, in addition to providing the patient with a lifelike prosthesis, the ocularist's role is also to assist the patient in coming to terms with his or her loss.
Creating the most natural looking prosthetic for the patient is an essential part of the healing process and goes a long way toward restoring the individual's self-confidence. Technological advances over the years have made it possible to create custom ocular prostheses that are virtually impossible to distinguish from their non-artificial counterparts as it is now possible to duplicate iris structure more closely than ever before. Prostheses are custom fitted and inserted as soon as possible after the eye removal surgery, allowing for the necessary reshaping of the surrounding tissue, which in turn delivers superior results in terms of appearance, motion and comfort for the patient.
Most ocularists in South Africa are registered with the Ocularists Association of Southern Africa (OASA), a regulatory body whose purpose is to ensure that the rights and interests of both ocularist and patient alike are considered in the practice of ocularistry. All ocularists registered with OASA are also members of the South African Optometric Association (SAOA).
Art Eyes specialises in the creation of handcrafted, custom moulded ocular prosthesis (artificial eyes) and haptic scleral shells (lenses that fit over non-sensitive, blinded eyes). In addition to providing their patients with specially crafted prostheses, they also take great pride in delivering a highly personalised service specifically tailored to each client's needs. Their practice is about delivering superior quality services and products with the empathy and professionalism that you deserve. Art Eyes have branches situated in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Bloemfontein.