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Become the light to someone’s darkness – Become an eye donor

Imagine not being able to witness the little joys of life, such as seeing your loved ones laugh or cry, or not seeing a rainbow. We often overlook the importance of eyesight in our lives, as most of us have it. But not everyone is as blessed as us. By donating your eyes you can better the lives of two people.

Why is eye donation important?

While some of the cases of blindness remain incurable, most of them can be cured with a corneal transplant. In India, it is projected by 2020, 1.5 million cases of unilateral corneal blindness will be reported. The growing number of cases require approximately 2,50,000 corneas to be donated, against the current number of 25,000 donations.

At the current rate of donations, we will need another 60 years to bridge the gap. Hence, it becomes more important that people are made aware and myths are busted to increase eye donations. It is one of the most noble causes that enable people to give someone the gift of vision. For the donor, it costs almost nothing, but for the receiver, it might mean the world. An act of kindness may bring comfort and convenience to two families together.

What is cornea and cornea transplant?

An eye as a whole cannot be transplanted, however, parts of it can be transplanted. Corneal transplant is the most common transplant, but if the cornea of the donor is damaged or scratched in any way, it cannot be used.

The cornea is a clear, dome shaped portion that protects the eyes from dirt, germs and damaging UV light. It works together with the lens of the eye to focus light that enters the eye so that the vision is clear.

During the procedure, the eye surgeon removes the damaged or diseased part of corneal tissue and replaces it with the healthy corneal tissue from the donor. For most of the people, a cornea transplant surgery restores clear vision and improves their quality of life.

Eye donation process

1: Register yourself

Many organizations, banks and associations provide these pledge forms, upon filing of which you are provided a donor card with an unique number. All pledges are stored with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization. Hence, it is very important that you discuss your intent with your family members and take their consent so upon your demise.

2: Care of Donor:

In the event of death of the owner, proper care must be taken to preserve the eye. Organ collection organizations should be informed. The next of kin may be asked to sign the consent form before securing the cornea.

3: Transplant:

Parallel to the securing process, attempts are made to find relevant matches for the transplant and the organ is transported as soon as it is found.

Things you should know about eye donation:

  1. Anyone can donate their eyes irrespective of their age, sex, and blood group

  2. Eye donation is carried out after a volunteer’s death

  3. The transplant procedure takes about 10-15 minutes, and leaves the face intact

  4. Donated eyes are not for sale or purchase

  5. People suffering from long/short sightedness and astigmatism can also pledge to donate their eyes

  6. Consent from the next of kin is a must

  7. Old age doesn’t disqualify anyone from pledging their eyes

National Eye Donation Fortnight

To raise awareness about eye donation and encourage people to sign up to donate their eyes every year the National Eye Donation Fortnight is organized from 25th August to 8th September. There is a countrywide participation seen with utmost rigour and involvement and the year 2020 marks 35 years of continuous efforts of the Indian Government under its national programme for control of blindness.

We can give two individuals the joy of sight, long after we are gone. To make this happen we should always motivate others and pledge to donate our eyes to make one’s life worth living.

Disclaimer: Indian Health Bureau does not claim any responsibility for the information contained in this article. The information may not hold good for everyone. The post is for general awareness only and should not be construed as a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Please consult your doctor to know what is good for you.



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