Treating Microphthalmic Socket

In an average week in the United States, more than a dozen families welcome a new baby who has microphthalmia. It probably feels like no one understands as you begin sorting out how to care for your child’s needs, but Mom, Dad — you are not alone. There are some truly wonderful resources for support out there, and we are eager to help you connect with a community of other parents who have been exactly where you are right now.

Would you like to start exploring some of those resources now? You will find a wealth of information at the Microphthalmia/Anophthalmia Parent Support (MAPS) website. And, here is a blog from Meg, who has grown up with Microphthalmia and is thriving in adulthood.

Also, we want you to know that we are here for you. We are ocularists, not therapists, but we do have a unique opportunity to sit with parents and empathize with much of what you are trying to process. We not only understand the detailed, technical, and medical realities you are facing but also the ways many families before you have navigated these tough days. Our team would like to hear more about all the questions or concerns you have today — and help you see how custom conformers and artificial eyes can make a dramatic difference in the life of your little one. 

Helping families adjust to the realities of living with microphthalmia or anophthalmia is such an important part of our work at Carolina Eye Prosthetics. We do things differently in our office, where taking all the time and attention a patient and their family needs during an appointment is the norm.  Read about how our graduated conformer therapy can help your child as they develop and what to expect before a visit with us. Then, take a minute to reach out so Brittany can schedule a brief consultation with no cost or obligation to your family.

The Differences Between Microphthalmia and Anophthalmia

If you are exploring our services at Carolina Eye Prosthetics, we understand that you are probably already acutely aware of the specifics related to these conditions. To quickly summarize and clarify, though, both microphthalmia and anophthalmia are birth defects affecting a newborn’s eyes. Microphthalmia is a condition where one or both eyes are undersized because they did not fully develop during pregnancy. With anophthalmia, one or both eyes did not develop at all. 

One of the deeply frustrating realities of both conditions is that our most advanced medical research still cannot tell us exactly why your child has one of these birth defects. We are getting closer to understanding possibilities for predicting or preventing them, but there is still work to be done in that area. What we can tell you today is that graduated conformer therapy is the best possible treatment for either condition. It can have a dramatically positive impact on your child’s health, physical appearance, and confidence as they grow up! 

How Graduated Conformer Therapy Works

Our team takes a significant amount of time to talk with parents about how graduated conformer therapy works before we begin treatment, but we can provide you with a brief overview here. Essentially, the bone and tissues in your child’s eye sockets will be growing and changing rapidly until they are several years old. Because the eye and socket affected by microphthalmia are smaller than the other eye, it is important to help the tissues in the socket stretch until they are the same size as the other eye.

We do that by inserting a series of gradually larger conformers — that will help reshape the undersized socket — as your child grows. The process is necessary to ensure that your child will soon be able to receive a full artificial eye prosthetic. At Carolina Eye Prosthetics, we create hand-painted, custom prosthetic eyes for our patients. 

Graduated conformer therapy can be started with children as young as one-week old. Not every child with microphthalmia needs to begin that early, but often it is better to begin sooner rather than later with our youngest patients. Read more about the graduated conformer therapy process.

What to Expect Before a Graduated Conformer Therapy Appointment

The top concern for parents exploring treatment for their child’s microphthalmia or anophthalmia is: “Will it hurt?” Even though Anna and our other ocularists have been treating children and helping families for many years, we still feel the weight of concern behind that question every single time a parent like you asks. 

No loving parent wants their child to suffer, ever. The reality is that treating their microphthalmia may cause some short-lived discomfort — but our team knows exactly how to prepare you and your child for their treatment to minimize anxiety. You can trust us. Your child’s health and helping them — and you — recover from the trauma of their birth defect are always our central concerns. We have a plan, specific protocols and ground rules for children and parents, and a methodology for minimizing the negative aspects of graduated conformer therapy for everyone. And, once you fully understand all the positive benefits of this treatment and see how attentive we are with our patients, you will feel good about moving forward to get your child the care they need.

Before Your Visit With Us:
  • Count on us to fully explain every aspect of your child’s therapy and take all the time and space you need to ask questions and be clear about the path forward. 
  • You will have a clear sense of the short-term and longer-term care plan for your child.
  • All the details about any financial concerns you have will be addressed. You will have full transparency about our billing and payments process.
  • We will schedule an initial 20-30 minute consultation with you to begin understanding your family’s situation and talk about your options for moving forward. 

Schedule Your Appointment Today

We know this is a difficult time for your family. You may be tired, angry, sad, or a complicated mix of so many different emotions. And,  today you might be struggling to understand the best next step. Mom, Dad — the best thing you can do for your child today is to get in touch with our team now. We will help you find a way forward that you can feel confident and hopeful about. There is so much more we are excited to share with you about this process and what you can expect for your child in the days ahead. Brittney handles most of our new patient intake communication and she wants to give you a quick phone call to find an ideal time for that 20-30 minute consultation. Send us a note now so we can reach out to you.