The National Eye Donation Fortnight is observed every year from 25thAugust to 8th September. The aim of the campaign is to create mass public awareness about the importance of eye donation and to motivate people to pledge their eyes for donation after death.
What is Eye Donation?
Eye donation is an act of donating one’s eyes after his/her death. People who are visually impaired due to corneal disease can be benefited. It is an act of charity, purely for the benefit of the society and is totally voluntary. It is done after death. So eye-donation should be encouraged as one of the best means of social service. To enable another person obtain vision is one of the best forms of charity. Even after death the donor lives in the eyes of recipient. Eyes from a dead person can enable two blind people to acquire vision.
What is the use of eyes received?
The eyes, which are received through such magnanimous gestures, are of great benefit to the society. The front, clear and transparent tissue of the eye called as cornea can be used to restore vision to corneal blind person. The other portions of the eye are also used for research and training purposes to develop cures for some of the common eye diseases.
What is Corneal Blindness?
The Cornea is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. It is a focusing element of the eye. The Vision is dramatically reduced or lost if the cornea becomes cloudy. This loss of the vision is referred as corneal blindness.
Is there a cure for corneal blindness?
Yes. Removing the damaged cornea and replacing it with a healthy cornea by surgery can cure corneal blindness. Till date the treatment of the corneally 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.
How can one donate eyes?
The eyes of a dead person can be used only if they are taken out within 6 hrs of death. When a person who has given consent for the donation of one’s eyes dies, the eye should be kept wet by sprinkling water on them. Otherwise pieces of cotton wool soaked in water should be placed on both the eyes so that the cornea does not become dry till the eye-surgeon arrives. After the removal of the eyes the eyelids will be stitched together and there will be no visible sign of the eyes having been removed. The entire process is completed within 10-15 mins, therefore if one pledged to donate his eyes after death, it is the duty of his relatives to inform to the nearest eye bank after his death.
How to register: http://ebai.org/donator-registration/
After the removal of eyes, would there be any complications or disfigurement?
There are two methods adopted for removal of eyes. Some eye banks would remove the whole eyeball. In such a case there may be temporary bleeding. The team is well trained to take care of such eventualities. There would be no disfigurement. The eye bank team, after the removal of eyes would properly close the eyes so that there is no disfigurement. The second method is the removal of only the clear transparent tissue. Here also a plastic shield is placed in place of the tissue and no difference can be noticed.
Is eye donation against religious principles or traditions?
All religions endorse eye donation. There are numerous examples in our traditions and scriptures, which endorse eye and organ donation. A part of the body would be consumed by flames and reduced to ashes or which is buried and allowed to decay and disintegrate & cannot be put to a better use than restoring vision to the needy.
Am I too old/young to be an eye donor?
No. There is generally a use for eyes of any age.
Can the eyes of the individuals having diabetes, hypertension be donated?
Yes. People with systemic diseases can also donate eyes.
Who cannot donate their eyes?
Patients suffering from Rabies, Tetanus, Aids, Jaundice, Cancer, Gangrene, Brain Tumor, Food Poisoning, Septicemia & a person who has died due to drowning etc. cannot donate their eyes.
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