It is important to take care of an artificial eye after pediatric retinoblastoma. However, artificial eye care does not need to be done every day. Be sure to follow instructions from your doctor and schedule check-ups no less than once a year to get the eye professionally polished. Read these artificial eye care tips for additional help with your child's artificial eye.
Good hygiene with artificial eye care is important, but helping your child care for an artificial eye can be tricky. Artificial eye care for your child can be particularly difficult if you don’t have any personal experience with artificial eye use.
Artificial Eye Care for Kids
To make sure both you and your child are comfortable, healthy, and happy, always follow your pediatrician’s artificial eye care instructions. When you’re in need of a little extra insight on artificial eye care, take a look at these tips from other families coping with artificial eye care after eye loss from pediatric retinoblastoma.
Artificial Eye Care Tips
To help your child with his or her artificial eye care, try the following:
- Always wash your hands right before touching the artificial eye.
- Always make sure the area around you during artificial eye care is clear of anything that may cause you to permanently damage the eye.
- Artificial eye care is not something you need to do every day. It is best not to take the artificial eye out frequently, because it may cause irritation and excess drainage. Try to convince your child to sleep with the artificial eye in as well.
- During artificial eye care, to remove the eye with your fingers, pull down the lower eyelid and slide your finger towards the child’s ear on the same side of the head. This allows the artificial eye to stick out over the lower eyelid. Gently remove the eye with your free hand. When your child is old enough, you can teach your child how to do this.
- To remove the eye with a suction cup during artificial eye care, place the suction cup on the artificial eye. Squeeze the handle, pull the lower eyelid down, and gently tilt the artificial eye up and out over the lower eyelid. This can also be taught to your child at an age that you feel is appropriate.
- Rinse the artificial eye with warm water, gently rubbing it with clean hands to remove debris. If necessary, a mild soap may be used. Ivory, Palmolive, or baby shampoo are good options. Be sure to teach your child to rinse the eye very thoroughly if soap is used during artificial eye care.
- Dry the artificial eye with a soft tissue. Rub the eye in a circular motion.
- The eyelashes and around the eye area may be cleaned with a wet tissue soaked in warm water.
- When done with artificial eye care, replace the eye by lifting the upper lid and inserting the artificial eye under the upper eyelid. This may be done with fingers or a suction cup as well. Once the eye is back in the socket, pull the lower eyelid down and blink the eye until the prosthesis is fully in place. Teach your child to always do this with clean and well-rinsed hands.
- If your child wants to rub the eye while the prosthesis is in place, teach your child to close his or her eye and rub toward his or her nose. Rubbing toward the ears may cause the eye to fall out.
- Never store the artificial eye in a tissue during artificial eye care.
- Never use alcohol, hand sanitizer, chloroform, ether, or other solvents during artificial eye care.
- Swimming with the artificial eye is fine, but goggles may help prevent accidental loss.
- Well-fitting glasses are suggested to protect the natural eye.
- Teach your child to angle his or her chin toward a person that is speaking with them. Have your child practice turning his or her head, neck, and shoulders, instead of just the eyes. This can help your child feel more comfortable and confident with the artificial eye.
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