WHAT IS IT? Ocularistry is a specialized field that mixes the realms of art and anatomy. It requires a very fine attention to detail, manual dexterity and patience to achieve the best result possible for a recipient of a prosthetic eye.
Ocularists, such as Robert Henderlite here at Southeastern Ocularists, typically undertake 7 years of training as an apprentice to become specialists in ocularistry field. These individuals, like Mr. Henderlite, can also choose to become certified with the American Society of Ocularists (ASO), through the National Examining Board of Ocularists (NEBO), as a Board Certified Ocularist once their educational training through the society or practicing hours have been met. This certification requires completion of a hand written test as well as a fabrication portion in which the ocularist will need to demonstrate his/her skills before a examining board and proctor. The acquisition of this certification further demonstrates their commitment to their career.
Choosing Your Ocularist
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best ocularist for your new artificial eye:
Trust between you and your ocularist is very important. Here at Southeastern Ocularists, our ocularists always make sure we are here to listen to your concerns and help make you feel comfortable with the process. We will be there for you if you experience difficulty before, during, and after the fabrication of your prosthetic eye. A good way of determining this is by reading or listening to reviews of the ocularist from a third party. A quick Google search of the business will generate reviews from patients – we like to show some reviews on our website as well. See reviews for Southeastern Ocularists.
Choose an ocularist who is board certified or being trained by one who is board certified. Board certification is a rigorous process that ensures that your ocularist is skilled and experienced in the fine craftsmanship of the field. The training to become a board certified ocularist requires a hand written test and fabrication portion in which the ocularist must demonstrate their craftsmanship in front of an examining board. This process can generally take 7 years to achieve the on the job hours or complete the educational hours provided by the American Society of Ocularists.
Experience is another trait you should look for in your ocularist. Although you will be coming to an ocularist to find your specific fit for your specific reasons, the ocularist should be familiar with all types of artificial eye fitting methods and be able to explain what results to expect. You should also be able to tell that they understand how to fix problem areas contributing to your overall cosmesis by making necessary adjustments to your artificial eye. Most prosthetic eye deliveries go as planned, but revisions are necessary in time and this is where knowing how to make adjustments to your current prosthetic eye come into play.
Choose an ocularist who can examine the eyes before and after surgery – complications can occur before or after the delivery of your prosthetic eye that may require more surgery or a simple consult with your doctor before proceeding. Some patients overall cosmesis may not be able to be fully achieved without the help of a skilled oculoplastic surgeon. Exposed implants can also become a road block sometimes in a patients path to a new prosthetic eye. Here at Southeastern Ocularists, if we ever feel it is not fully safe or in your best interest to proceed with getting fitted for a new eye, we will always stay in contact and consult with your primary care provider before moving forward.
Robert Henderlite, B.C.O is board certified by the NEBO and a member of the American Society of Ocularists (ASO). He has focused primarily of the fitting, painting and fabrication of prosthetic eyes and has 25+ years experience in the field. To learn more about your options and all of the services Southeastern Ocularists, Inc. provides, call our office at (704.510.9292) to schedule a consultation or browse our website to learn more about our team.