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Anyone can donate eyes

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Myths of corneal donation dispelled Corneal blindness is one of the most common causes of treatable blindness in India. It afflicts over 2 million...

Myths of corneal donation dispelled

Corneal blindness is one of the most common causes of treatable blindness in India. It afflicts over 2 million people. The only treatment option is transplantation of donor corneas that are obtained through eye donation after a person’s death.

Eye donation or cornea donation offers hope to many. The process of removal of cornea from a deceased person is termed as eye donation. The Ramayamma International Eye Bank (RIEB) of the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, offers hope to many by providing corneas to surgeons for transplantation in patients with corneal blindness. According to sources, the RIEB supplies around 2,200 corneas in a year to surgeons across the country. The most deplorable thing is that though innumerable deaths occur every year in India, only a few have the chance of seeing the world through someone’s eyes.

According to Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI), as against the requirement of 100,000 corneas in a year, the eye banks in the country collect only 37,000! The need for donated eyes far exceeds the availability of donations. Lack of awareness and myths surrounding the eye donation are great impediments for the shortage of corneas.

Facts about Eye Donation
  • Eye donation should be done within six hours of death
  • Only corneas are removed during eye donation
  • Consent to be taken one next of kin and one witness during eye donation
  • Those with hypertension, diabetes, asthma and other systemic diseases can also donate
  • Anyone of any age, gender can donate eyes
  • Eye donation restores sight to two corneal blind individuals
  • Eye donation does not cause any face disfigurement
  • Anyone wearing spectacles and operated for cataracts also can donate
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