A SPECIALIST hospital is leading a national survey of people who have to use artificial eyes.

Queen Victoria Hospital wants to investigate the comfort and results of treatment for people fitted with a prosthetic.

The East Grinstead site is known for its expertise in reconstructive surgery, prosthetic rehabilitation and eye surgery.

The hospital is partnered with trusts across the country, including Worthing Hospital, Eastbourne District General Hospital and Conquest Hospital in St Leonards.

This is to make sure as many patients as possible are involved in the study.

When somebody loses an eye due to damage or disease, they almost always choose to have an artificial eye rather than wear a patch.

The artificial eye is made to match the patient’s existing eye.

However patients often suffer with dry eye symptoms.

Seeing through just one eye also affects depth perception and can make daily activities such as going down stairs or pouring boiling water into a mug tricky.

Specialist prosthetist Emma Worrell is leading the study.

Dr Worrell said: “The most commonly referenced book for adapting to monocular vision was first published in 1972, now it’s time we find out the needs of artificial eye patients in 2017.

“In understanding our current population we can better provide for our patients, improve our patients’ experience.

“This is why we devised this study.

“We as clinicians need to know how life is from our patient’s viewpoint.

“This is to enable us to better answer questions, pass on our best evidence based advice and updating our knowledge through research will help us do this.”

The team at Queen Victoria treats about 200 patients a year who have an artificial eye.

By involving other NHS centres they hope to get information from at least 500 patients.

The results of the study will be published and used to update patient information sheets and improve treatments.