"A day in the life of an ocularist: what it takes to create custom ocular prosthetics"
As an ocularist, my job is to create custom ocular prosthetics for people who have lost an eye due to injury or disease. These prosthetics, also known as artificial eyes, are carefully crafted to match the patient's natural eye in size, shape, and color, and are designed to be comfortable and functional. A typical day in my job starts with a consultation with a new patient. This usually involves taking detailed measurements of the patient's remaining eye and surrounding tissue, as well as discussing their medical history and any specific functional or cosmetic needs they may have. I may also work with the patient's doctor to gather additional information and ensure that the prosthetic will be a good fit for the patient's overall treatment plan.
Once I have all the necessary information, I begin the process of creating the custom ocular prosthetic. This involves carefully sculpting a model of the prosthetic using specialized materials, such as acrylic or silicone, and shaping it to match the patient's natural eye as closely as possible. I may use a variety of tools and techniques, including hand sculpting, casting, and painting, to create the final product.
The process of creating a custom ocular prosthetic can be time-consuming and requires a high level of attention to detail. It is important for me to work closely with the patient throughout the process to ensure that the prosthetic meets their needs and expectations. I may make several adjustments and refinements before the final prosthetic is complete. Once the prosthetic is finished, I work with the patient to ensure that it fits properly and is comfortable. This may involve making additional adjustments to the prosthetic or providing the patient with instructions on how to properly care for and wear it.
Being an ocularist is a rewarding and challenging career that requires a combination of artistic skill, technical expertise, and compassion. It is my privilege to be able to help people who have lost an eye regain some of their confidence and independence through the creation of custom ocular prosthetics.