Eye Donation – Giving Sight

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What is Eye Donation

Eye donation is an act of donating one’s eyes after his/her death. Only corneal blinds can be benefitted through this process not other Blinds. It is an act of charity, purely for the benefit of the society and is totally voluntary. It is done after death. The eye donation of the deceased can be authorised by the next of kith & kin even if the deceased did not pledge to donate his / her eyes before death.

How can one donate eyes?

Eyes are removed only after death. A person wishing to donate eyes should make close family members aware of their intentions. After the death of the person, it is the family who can inform the nearest eye bank to fulfil the wishes of the deceased or authorise the removal of the eyes if somebody from an eye bank approaches the family.

Cure for corneal blindness

Removing the damaged cornea and replacing it with a healthy cornea by surgery can cure corneal blindness. Till date the treatment of the corneal blind people is corneal grafting. Artificial corneas have not yet been developed and hence the only source for cornea is from our fellow human beings. The first corneal transplant took place in 1905.

Source for the cornea

Fortunately, cornea can be removed from a deceased person within six hours of death and can be used for surgery. Artificial cornea has not yet been developed nor is there any other objective. The eyes, which would ultimately be consigned to flames, or buried along with the body, can restore sight to two or more needy people.

At present approximately 35,000 corneas are collected in the country every year, whereas 1,50,000 are required annually to combat corneal blindness. As a result, the patient line-up and the wait to get a corneal transplant keep getting longer with each passing day. Furthermore, the cost of cornea transplant in addition to unavailability for corneas makes it practically impossible for under-privileged people to access these medical remedies.

Creating awareness amongst the masses and encouraging them to pledge their eyes for donation, therefore, is of paramount importance.

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