Carolina Eye Prosthetics specializes in the treatment of microphthalmia, a developmental disorder of the eye in which one or both eyes are abnormally small and have anatomic malformations. Microphthalmia affects about 1 in every 10,000 people. Below is an illustration of a normal eye socket compared to an eye socket affected by microphthalmia. Before microphthalmia conformer therapy, the eye socket is small and cone-shaped. After conformer therapy, the socket is wider and can be fitted with a prosthetic eye.
Graduated conformer therapy begins on microphthalmia patients as young as one week old. The earlier we start, the better the results. The treatment is painless and completely safe for young children.
Carolina Eye Prosthetic’s microphthalmia therapy works by gradually stretching the eye socket using conformers. The conformers are very small to start, approximately the size of a sunflower seed, and then made thicker and larger.
The idea of the therapy is to stretch and manipulate the socket tissues in order to create space for a prosthetic eye. Conformers are gradually switched out for larger ones until the eye symmetry is satisfactory enough to have a balanced cosmesis. The final conformer will be about the size of a quarter.
Once graduated conformer therapy is finished, the microphthalmic eye can be surgically replaced with a globe. The custom prosthetic eye will then be fit over the globe as illustrated.
Our patient Alex was diagnosed with microphthalmia and began treatment with us at a very young age. Below, you can see her transformation through graduated conformer therapy. The first image shows her eye socket before starting treatment. The second picture shows Alex with a small conformer. The third image shows how much Alex’s eye socket stretched with larger conformers. In the final image, you can see Alex with her beautiful new prosthetic eye, post-microphthalmia treatment.