Microphthalmia is a developmental disorder in which one or both eyes are abnormally small and have anatomic malformations. Graduated conformer therapy is a way to gradually stretch the eye socket so that it will be able to hold a prosthetic eye.
Some parents of children who have bilateral microphthalmia have reported that their children seem to respond to light after receiving conformers to help open the eye sockets. Based on this reporting, the ocularists at Carolina Eye Prosthetics are offering painted conformers in place of a full prosthetic eye to children who seem to be able to perceive light.
“I’ve had a few parents note that their young children had noticeable responses to light once they had conformers,” says board-certified ocularist Anna Boyd Jefferson. “Conformers are clear and let the light in, while a prosthetic eye will block light. Based on that, we realized we could paint an iris on a conformer to give the appearance of an eye and leave the pupil area clear to allow light in.”
If a non-sighted individual can perceive light, it can help regulate circadian rhythms, making it easier to sleep and adjust to day and night. This can be especially significant for parents of young children.
Graduated conformer therapy can be started in babies as young as one-week-old. Learn more about conformer therapy for microphthalmia at Carolina Eye Prosthetics. Parents can also learn more or schedule a consultation by calling 1-877-763-9393.