Although the artificial eye can be traced back to several centuries B.C., it was not until the middle of the 19th century that the profession of artificial eye making (Ocular Prosthetics) was first brought to this country. The material of choice for the making of artificial eyes, at that time and for three centuries before, had been glass. It was not until World War II, that an alternative material was sought. Through the ingenuity and the continued efforts of a few American eye makers, a new material, plastic, was introduced to the industry. This acrylic prosthesis, developed in the mid-1940's, was the forerunner of the plastic prosthesis now accepted and used throughout the world.
The introduction of the more versatile, PMMA, plastic material into the field opened new avenues and encouraged innovation in the fabrication and fitting of prosthetics. Developments in the orbital implants, designed to increase motion to a prosthesis along with refined and improved surgical techniques have all contributed to improving the results we see today.
Some of the most significant advances in the field have occurred in the past twenty years.