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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Equipment and Orthopedics > Prosthetic Eye

Prosthetic Eye Cost


How Much Does a Prosthetic Eye Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $2,000-$8,000+
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A prosthetic eye, also called an ocular prosthesis, typically is used after surgical removal of an eye that has been damaged due to injury or an illness, such as diabetes or cancer. In addition to cosmetic benefits, an artificial eye can support the tissue around the eye and help tears to better clean the eye socket. Prosthetic eyes used to be made from glass, but now are typically made from acrylic or, in some cases, silicone.

Typical costs:

  • For patients with health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of doctor visit copays and coinsurance of 10%-50%. An artificial eye typically is covered by health insurance, not vision insurance, and is considered to be durable medical equipment.
  • For patients without health insurance, a prosthetic eye typically costs from about $2,000-$8,000 or more. For example, at Kolberg Custom Artificial Eyes, in California, a custom artificial eye[1] costs $1,800-$2,500. At D. Danz & Sons, a company that creates custom ocular prosthetics, the cost of an ocular prosthetic[2] typically costs $2,500-$8,300.
  • On a forum[3] at LostEye.com, U.S. patients report costs of $2,500-$6,000 for a custom artificial eye.
Related articles: Eye Exam, Diabetes Medication, Chemotherapy, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Depending on whether the patient is getting a prosthetic eye for the first time or replacing a prosthetic eye they already have, it can take two to six visits and one to eight weeks to get a custom prosthetic eye made.
  • If a patient has just had eye-removal surgery, it is generally recommended they wait six to eight weeks before visiting an ocularist to be fitted with a temporary prosthetic. The ocularist will then create a mold of the eye socket so the artificial eye can be custom made to fit the patient comfortably.
  • The ocularist will then fabricate the eye, typically from a durable optical-quality acrylic material, and will paint it to look as similar as possible to the patient's real eye. The ocularist will match the color of the patient's iris and the white of the eye, and also try to replicate the vascular pattern of the eye.
  • After receiving the eye and being checked for fit, the patient typically returns to the ocularist in about a month for another check-up.
  • Jahrling Ocular Prosthetics offers an overview of the fitting procedure[4] . Ocularist D. Danz & Sons offers an overview of prosthetic eyes[5] .
Additional costs:
  • Ocular prosthetics typically are cleaned by rinsing with saline solution while in the eye socket. Saline solution costs $5-$10 per bottle. About once a month, the eye should be removed and washed with a mild soap.
  • Enuclene[6] , an eye drop made for wearers of prosthetic eyes, costs less than $15.
  • Follow-up appointments, needed every six months to a year to check fit, can cost $100 or more. Follow-up care is important because eye sockets change and poor fit can cause scarring and other problems.
  • Ocular prosthetics made of acrylic might need to be replaced every 4-7 years. In some cases, if the size of the eye socket has changed, a patient can have their existing artificial eye modified. One commenter on a forum[7] at LostEye.com paid $800 to have an artificial eye made larger.
Discounts:
  • Some charities, such as local Lions Clubs[8] , offer financial assistance for prosthetic eyes. For example, the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation has a program[9] to provide artificial eyes to patients in need.
Shopping for a prosthetic eye:
  • The American Society of Ocularists offers an ocularist finder[10] by state. Ocularists are professionals who specialize in fabricating and fitting prosthetic eyes, and they should be certified by the National Examining Board of Ocularists[11] .
  • The American Society of Ocularists also offers a guide[12] on when to visit an ocularist.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.artificialeye.net/
  2.  www.ddanzandsons.com/eyecare.html
  3.  www.losteye.com/message_forum1/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3771
  4.  www.jahrling.com/Procedure/ProcAnopthalmic.htm
  5.  www.ddanzandsons.com/services.html
  6.  www.americanotc.com/store.php?seller=americanotc&navt1=92836&navt2=93452
  7.  www.losteye.com/message_forum1/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3771
  8.  /directory.lionsclubs.org/
  9.  www.lionslighthouse.org/programs/eye_surgery
  10.  www.ocularist.org/find_ocularist_search.asp
  11.  www.neboboard.org/
  12.  www.ocularist.org/doctors_refer.asp
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