Mik is well on his way to fooling everyone!
Step 1- take impression of the eye
The Ocularist took the impression a few weeks ago. It took three tries for Mik to be relaxed enough not to squeeze out all the goop. Basically, the Ocularist places a small plunger looking item under the eyelids. The handle is hollow so that a polymer can be injected down under the plunger end. Provided the patient doesn’t squint and squeeze out the polymer, it only takes one minute for the polymer to set. The Ocularist pulls out the impression then can make a topographical model of his eyeball.
Step 2- The Conformer
The Ocularist makes a clear acrylic Conformer to fit the model from the impression making it a custom fit. We learn how to put it in and take it out. Mik gradually increases the time he wears it, similar to getting accustomed to wearing contact lenses.
Mik was squeamish as the Ocularist put the conformer in but once it was in place, he exclaimed that he could not feel it at all. This made it much easier for me to learn and practice on him. It’s a little awkward because it is hard to accept that such a large piece goes under the eyelid. It took me about 10 tries to get it out and 4 tries to get it back in.
I was a little disappointed to see that it didn’t open his eye much. That was, afterall, a major part of why we were doing this. The Ocularist explained that the final version would be thicker and open the eye more. It is a gradual change they make as the wearer gets accustomed to the shell. I must admit that I was concerned on how much would be seen when he had the clear shell in. I can handle it but I’m not sure how the kids at school will feel.
In two weeks, we go get the hand painted matching shell. Mik can’t wait.
Picture 1. Mik without shell
Picture 2. Using the suction cup to remove the shell.