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Create and fit prosthetic eyes made from acrylic.

What does an Ocularist do?

Ocularists create ocular prostheses – custom artificial eyes – for people who have lost an eye in an accident, or must have one removed due to damage or disease. It’s a job that makes a big difference in the appearance of those people – and, by extension, their self-esteem. You see, because we only have two eyes, losing even one is a huge problem. (By contrast, spiders are lucky because they have eight eyes – their fellow arachnids aren’t likely to notice if one goes missing.)

Luckily, if a person loses an eye, he or she can always go to an Ocularist. Not to be confused with an Optician, Optometrist, or Ophthalmologist, an Ocularist is not a Doctor. Instead, when you’re an Ocularist, you’re more like a Fashion Designer who’s paid to design the most important accessory of your patients’ lives: their eyeball.

The process of creating an ocular prosthesis starts with fitting, which requires you to make a mold of the patient’s eye socket, then create a plastic shell from the mold that you use to create the actual prosthesis, which is made of acrylic. Once you’ve got the acrylic eyeball made, the next step is hand painting the white, iris, and pupil to match those of the patient’s other eye.

Finally, you perform one last fitting to make sure the eye’s shape and color are appropriate. If they aren’t, you make adjustments. If they are, you give the prosthesis to the patient, and instruct them on how to care for and maintain it.

Mostly, you’re a Tailor, custom-fitting for your patients an ocular wardrobe. Just as often, however, you’re a pinch-hitting Psychologist: Patients don’t just go to you for prostheses; you offer them moral support, too.