Oklahomans Develop First Dilating Prosthetic Eye

Monday, March 12th 2012, 6:01 pm
By: News 9

A breakthrough in artificial eye technology is helping people all over the world. It's a special prosthetic eye and was created in Oklahoma by the La Fuente Prosthetic Center in Midtown Oklahoma City.

The man behind the design is owner Henry La Fuente. After 30 years of research, La Fuente has created the first dilating prosthetic eye. But it didn't come easy.

"I've made a lot of eyes that didn't work. Every time you do one you learn a little bit more," said La Fuente.

The prosthetic has a tiny disk inside. The patient swipes a magnet over the eye to change the pupil's size.

"It's one of the newest advances in Ocularistry," said La Fuente's son, Brandon La Fuente.

The artificial eye experts said the new design is safer than the method patients are used to.

"Before patients had two eyes, one for during the day and one for at night. They would take their eye out and put another in," La Fuente said. He said it makes them more susceptible to infections.

Chris Wende is one of the first patients to try out the new technology.

"It's really very novel," Wende said.

Wende has been wearing an artificial eye since the age of four. He's lived through dozens of advances, but nothing like the technology the La Fuente's have created.

"I'm glad to be one of the guinea pigs and try it out," said Wende.