Frequently Asked Questions

Am I Getting Glass Eye or 'Stock' eye?

Contrary to popular belief, artificial eyes are not commonly made from glass today. Midwest Eye Labs uses a medical grade acrylic, providing comfort, durability, and safety. And, unlike the old style pre-fabricated, or “stock”, prosthetic eyes, the entire process of creating your artificial eye is performed right in our full-service office by our Board Certified Ocularist and Ocularist Technicians.

Do I have to make an appointment?

Yes, appointments are required due to the custom detailed work and the individuality of each case. We like to make sure that enough time is allowed to complete the service for you.

Does insurance cover the ocular prosthesis or scleral cover shell?

Yes. Most insurance policies do cover custom prosthetic eyes. Individual policies vary on requirements. Most insurance cards contain a customer service number that you can use to get benefits and coverage information.

Does it hurt to insert / remove an ocular prosthesis?

No. We teach you how to insert and remove your prosthesis easily and with no discomfort at all. Our ocularist and technicians are very gentle and make the process very comfortable from beginning to end. Once you start handling the prosthesis on your own, you will find it very easy and pain free.

How do you expand a contracted or smaller-than-normal socket?

When the eye socket is too small to wear a normal custom ocular prosthesis there is an option on how to obtain a more symmetrical look. This is common in microphthalmic and anopthalmic cases. Creating a custom clear conformer and building upon it over time expands the socket to a point where eventually a full custom ocular prosthesis will be fabricated. This process will result in a more symmetrical appearance with maximum comfort. It is ideal to start this process within the first 6 weeks of life.

See how this benefited one of our patients

How long do artificial eyes last?

Ocular prosthetics (artificial eyes) will usually last about 5-7 years with proper care and professional polishing. Not only does the material that the artificial eye is made from break down over time but the lid or socket may change. This is commonly found in growing children, or as you age.

How many visits with you will I have?

For the intial or replacement custom ocular prosthetic we are able to accomplish the fabrication and fitting in about 4-5 appointments over the course of 2 consecutive days. This may vary slightly, depending on your unique situation. Each appointment lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.

I have a family member or friend who complains of discomfort with his/her artificial eye. What can I do?

Feel free to call our office any time if you have questions about how our process works. We prefer that your friend or family member call us directly and schedule a complementary consultation so that we can meet and identify his/her specific needs. You can have them contact us.

I have a full blind eye, can a scleral cover shell benefit me?

Midwest Eye Laboratories also custom fabricates scleral cover shells that can fit comfortably over an existing blind eye. Scleral cover shells are hand-painted and hand-sculpted to fit the shape of your eye and look as natural as your companion eye. Scleral cover shells can be made quite thin. We do offer a complimentary consultation to determine if a scleral cover shell will be right for you.

What happens if I lose or break my prosthesis?

DO NOT wear a prosthesis that has been broken or chipped. This will cause discomfort and may lead to injury of the socket. If lost or broken, it is recommended to call right away to determine if a new prosthesis or adjustment is needed. For custom ocular prosthesis fit after an eye had been removed, the socket should only remain empty for a short period of time.

What is a Custom Ocular Conformer?

A Custom Ocular Conformer is a clear plastic piece molded from an impression taken of the socket. This is usually recommended for maintaining the integrity of the socket and/or encouraging expansion.

Where are you located?

Our full service offices are located in Eau Claire, WI and Rochester, MN, with limited service in Weston, WI. For a map, click here.

Words cannot express my appreciation for all the work and long hours you spent fitting an eye in the complicated socket you had to work with. I truly appreciate it all.

- Mary
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We Work With People of all ages
Brady at 1 year old

1 Year

Brady at 2.5 years old

2.5 Years

Brady at 3 years old

3 Years

Brady at 6 years old

6 Years