Donate eyes, gift your sight

According to Organ India’s information, India requires 2 million corneas every year, but through organ donation, only 50,000 corneas are available. So out of four people who wait for corneas, three become blind due to unavailability of corneas

Donate eyes, gift your sight

By donating blood you can give a new lease of life to someone and because of eye donation, you can give vision to two blind people. Eye donation should be encouraged in a large scale, to enable another person obtain vision.

More than 30 million people in our country suffer from corneal blind. Out of them, the number of children below 12 years is 60 per cent. Every year, this number is increasing by 2 lakhs. Cornea is the clear, transparent tissue covering the front of the eye and if it becomes cloudy due to some reason, the vision is dramatically lost or reduced. Corneal blindness can be treated by replacing the damaged cornea by a healthy donated human cornea. The human cornea can be procured through eye donation.

Donate eyes, gift your sight
Dr Kishor Yadav, Medical officer group ‘A’, Primary health centre Dehu, District – Pune

How to donate eyes?

The person who wants to donate eyes can contact the eye bank and fill the eye donation form. Once done, the eye bank people will issue a donor card that has contact details of the eye bank. Keep it with you. Inform your family, relatives, friends and family doctor. At the time of that person’s death, his/her relative/friend, who was a witness for the pledge form or any other family member/friend who had the knowledge that the person who passed away intended to donate the eyes, should call the nearest eye bank. Eye donation can also be done by the close relatives of the donor if he hasn’t registered. Just the pupil should be unaffected.

  • Spectacle wearers, a person having blood pressure, cataract, glaucoma, squint or anyone operated for eye disease can donate their eyes. Anyone can be a donor, irrespective of age, sex, blood group or religion. One who cannot see also can donate his cornea.
  • Eye bank works 24/7 for 365 days and it is the link between the donor, blind person and ophthalmologist. After the person’s death, his/her relative/friend, who was a witness for the pledge form or any other family member/friend who had the knowledge that the person who passed away intended to donate the eyes, should call the nearest eye bank and inform about the reason of the death and the location.

Who cannot donate eyes?

  • One who has HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, rabies, cancer or any infection cannot donate corneas.

What you should do?

  • After the donor’s death, raise the donor’s head by 6 inches by placing two pillows under it.
  • Close the eye lids gently and keep a moist cloth over the eyes keep it moist till the eye bank team arrives.
  • Switch off fans and keep the death certificate ready.
  • The eye bank team takes eyes and blood of the donor. The process is completed in a very short time (15-20 minutes).
  • Eyes are thoroughly inspected in the eye bank and are kept in the preservative media. Eyes are used under four days according to the waiting list for the eye transplant. No amount is charged for eye donation. After eye removal the face doesn’t look disfigured.
  • Cornea becomes cloudy from disease, injury, infection or malnutrition. The hazy cornea is corrected through healthy corneal transplantation. Only corneal blinds can be benefitted through this process. After removing the cornea the remaining eye is used for research.
  • The identity of the donor is strictly kept under wraps. Eye donation is not prohibited in any religion.