According to statistics, India is home to one-fourth of the global blind population, and seventy per cent of all visual impairment cases are preventable, but due to a lack of quality ophthalmology services and eye donors, the current situation looks grim for India’s visually impaired population.
Corneal transplants (where the first transparent layer of the eye is transplanted to the patient) can contribute majorly towards bringing down the rate of corneal blindness in India, which is the fourth most common cause of blindness in the world.
In this blog, we take a look at how eye donation works in the Indian context and try to understand the nuances of the process.
The Process of Eye Donation
As previously stated, the cornea is a transparent layer at the front of the eye, and it is the main focusing element of our eye. During a corneal transplant, a disc-shaped segment of the faulty cornea is replaced with a similarly shaped part of a healthy cornea. Corneal transplants can help cure many diseases and problems, for example, children who are born with cloudy corneas benefit a lot from these transplants.
Here are some additional pointers about how eye donation works:
- Eyes can only be donated after death.
- The entire eyeball isn’t removed but only the cornea, which leads to no disfiguration of the donor’s body.
- The process would be overseen by a registered medical practitioner who’ll ensure the process properly takes place and keeping the dignity of the eye donor in mind.
- No religion opposes eye donation.
- The entire process takes only twenty minutes and must be completed within six hours from the death of the donor.
- A single eye donation can help in providing vision to two people who are visually impaired.
How do I donate my eyes?
Since eyes can only be donated after death, the first step towards eye donation is to sign a pledge to donate your eyes to a registered eye bank like Centre for Sight’s own eye bank in PreetVihar.
Once you have gone through the details of the form and fill it correctly, the next step should be to inform your family and loved ones about your decision. At the time of the transplant, your next of kin’s consent is required in the presence of two witnesses to allow the donation to take place.
Who can donate their eyes?
People of all ages and sexes can opt to become eye donors. People with refractive errors like myopia and hyperopia and with problems like high blood pressure can also donate their eyes.
The following cannot donate their eyes:
- People who have AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Rabies, Septicaemia, Acute leukaemia (Blood cancer), Tetanus, Cholera, and infectious diseases like Meningitis and Encephalitis
Pass Forward Your Vision
Every eye donation can help bright light into two people’s lives and can reduce the shortage of eye donors in India and also contribute to improving our nation’s overall health.
By pledging to donate your vision, you’re gifting two people with the gift of vision and making a significant difference in their lives. If you’re interested in knowing more about eye donation, you can find more information here or contact our eye bank here.