I probably didn't mention this, but I have something called microophthalmia
. A condition in which one eye is smaller than normal. It's ok, and you can usually see, unless you have complications such as a damaged optic nerve
What's really a problem is that the bones surrounding the eye, the orbit bone doesn't grow unless pressure from the eyeball is put on it. To alleviate this problem, an ocularist creates a plaster/ceramic lens to press on the area and stimulate growth, as well as having a cosmetic function, it's a painted shell so both eyes look the same (mine are unevenly colored).
Using a prosthetic lens is similiar to a regular contact lens, just that it is completely rigid, substantially larger, almost always opaque AFAIK, and aren't worn overnight. You can swim, shower, and live a normal life with it.
Inserting a lens
There are 2 ways about this; using a small suction cup to help you get a better grip, or using your hands. If someone else does it, fine, but sometimes you'd get an eyelash in the eye if done by the inexperienced. If you do it alone, you might need a mirror.
1. Take the lens out of the soaking solution
2. Rinse everything, the lens, your hands, the container
3. Squeeze a few drops of wetting solution on the lens, moistens and lubes it.
4. Using your free hand, hold your upper eyelid open, and your thumb to keep the lower lid down.
5. Insert the lens, sorta like a contact lens but because of it's size, getting the top of it under the upper eyelid, and then following by slipping the bottom beneath the lower eyelid.
6. Blink several times, or use a tissue to press gently on eye to make sure it settles. Takes almost half of a second.
There, now you can go on with the rest of your life. You do it every morning, like brushing your teeth, over time you pay less attention to it. You forget about it, sometimes you forget to take it out. Did I mention after a few years you don't even need a mirror to do it by yourself?
Removing a lens
1. Wash your hands.
2. Using one hand, hold your eyelids wide open and apart.
3. Using the other hand, hold it to catch the lens. Or you could use a suction cup and get rid of all the fuss.
4. The lens might fall out now that the eyelid isn't holding it down, or you might need to take your thumb and index of your catching hand and grip the sides. Pull gently.
5. Soak the lens in some cleaning solution or cleaning/wetting solution.
There! All done! Now get some sleep. Don't sleep with it in or it'll sting in the morning. I don't like showering or swimming with it out, the shampoo might sting more.
Some observations: After a while you forget it's in. Nobody ever notices any difference between your eyes, unless they're trying to see if it will diliate/ constrict. I even had a careless intern at the ER examine my eyes, and get bewildered for a few minutes as one wouldn't react to the penlight.
If you get an eyelash under your lens, take the lens out, brush away the lash and put it back in. The biggest cause of pain. Once in high school, when taking the lens out in the bathroom, my friend thought my eye fell out. Of course he ran out before I could say anything, and I became the subject of rumors that I had a glass eye, half an eye, you get the drift. The key to killing the rumor is to laugh when you hear it and say it's nothing like that, just I need a contact lens in one eye. Graceful way of handling a potential social crisis.
Further questions? /msg me