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Can I use an artifical eye?

Q: When I was 3 years I lost my sight as an iron nail went into my eye which got septic and I am blind from one eye. The doctor then said that nothing can be done. As I lost my vision at the age of 3, my eye is very small and has remained of the same size while the other is big. I am doing engineering from IIT Kharagpur and this problem is very humiliating for me. What can I do - can it be replaced and can I get my sight back or can I wear a stone eye? If I wear a stone eye will it be small or can I make it of the same size? Can you tell me the hospitals and the rough estimate of amount required for surgery?

A:The eye cannot be replaced and also you cannot get sight back in that eye. Your eye has shrunk - a condition called phthisis bulbi. An oculo-plastic surgeon (ophthalmologist with specialization in orbit and eye plastic surgery) is the one who can help you. There are many cosmetically acceptable eye prosthetics (plastic implants) that can help you. They are not made of stone, but rather of plastic or some other similar material. There are two ways to deal with your problem. First is to just apply a prosthetic over the eye (if that is possible). The second and more likely is that you may have to enucleate this eye and then have an appropriate prosthetic placed. With the right surgery, the eye retains the movement and it looks very much like a real eye. There have been many advances in this field over the last decade so don't despair. An additional point of great importance is to always wear protective glasses (made of polycarbonate lenses) to protect the better seeing eye from accidents.

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