Strangely enough, this isn’t an easy question to answer. There are three reasons why an artificial eye would need replacing, but no definitive length of time that correlates with any of these reasons.
An artificial eye would generally need replacing because:
- It is no longer a satisfactory fit for the socket (due to natural changes, or surgical alteration),
- It no longer matches the real eye (fading of the colour of the artificial eye, or changes in the look of the real eye),
- Wear to the plastic (age-related chemical transitions in the plastic causing irritation, or cracking/crazing/splitting)
5-7 years is considered a good lifespan for an artificial eye, but eyes much older than this have been observed still in good condition and still being worn without problems.
Regular attendances for polishes at the clinic can maintain comfort and also allow inspection of the artificial eye to ascertain that it is still in good condition and still a good fit.