”The eyes are indeed windows to the world, and to our soul”. Nowadays not all types of blindness are irreversible. Most people who have vision impairments can get their vision back with the help of surgeries and medications. Today, medical science has advanced enough to restore vision for patients who are struggling with day-to-day living because of vision impairment. People are helping other people even after their death, with eye donation.
Which part of the eye is donated?
Many people believe that their whole eye is removed during the donation leaving the eye socket empty. Which is not true at all. Usually, only the cornea that is the outermost layer of the eye is extracted, very gently. other parts of the eyes that can be donated are-
- Tear duct
- Amniotic membrane
Who can donate eyes?
Eyes can only be donated when the donor doesn’t need them, that is, after the donor’s death. Those of us who wish to donate our eyes, after we die, need to pledge them while we are alive. It’s important to keep them healthy when we are alive, so the receiver can use them well after us.
Pledging your eyes is a noble act. It ensures that your eyes will continue in helping someone else to see the world, even after you are no more. Eye Donation is perhaps the greatest charity of all and it is entirely voluntary. The eye donation of the deceased has to be authorized by the next of kin(a person’s closest living relative or relatives) even if the deceased has pledged his or her eye while being alive. Even if he or she did not pledge to donate his / her eyes before death, the next of kin can also permit to donate the eyes of the deceased.
- People with vision problems like near-sightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can donate their eyes.
- The age factor of the donor is usually irrelevant. As any deceased can donate their eyes.
- People with certain diseases like hypertension, asthma, diabetes can also donate eyes.
- A person of any gender can donate their eyes.
Can Someone who has had Eye surgery donate eyes?
Yes, Eyes have many parts that can be used even if one of them is damaged. usually, it’s the cornea that gets operated on to fix the eye problems. No rule says that the cornea of eyes that have undergone any surgery whether it is cataract surgery or LASIK surgery can’t be donated. Eyes can still be used for a cornea transplant. The healthy portions of the previously operated cornea can still be used for the donation.
Who Cannot Donate Eyes?
- A person who has diseases like AIDS, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, or any communicable disease cannot donate his/her eyes.
- A person who dies because of drowning is also not eligible for donation.
The procedure of eye donation
Once the eye bank is informed of the will to donate eyes from the donor. A team of trained personnel, along with an eye doctor and a grief counselor reach the house or hospital where the deceased has been laid to rest. The team of medical professionals. They will talk to the family and take proper, written consent before proceeding with eye donation. They might ask some questions regarding the medical and family history of the donor. The process takes less than ten minutes from start to finish.
With respect, the team will work in privacy to harvest the donated eyes under strict aseptic conditions. The area where the team harvests will be restored to its original state within minutes by the eye care professionals with high regard to the feelings of the grieving loved ones of the deceased. Before transporting the donated tissue to the bank, the grief counselor helps the family in resolving any last-minute hesitations and questions. They show appreciation and thank the family for their act of charity.
Usually, there are patients, waiting for eye transplants, in most hospitals. Therefore, most corneas are utilized within three to four days. Corneal and ocular donations remain viable for transplant for up to 14 days. The identities of both the donor and the recipient remain confidential.
How are donated Eyes used?
Traditionally each person who donates eyes can provide the gift of sight to two blind people. With the coming of component surgery of the cornea in which layer of the cornea is transplanted for a specific indication. That means the unhealthy layer is replaced with the healthy one leading to normal vision. In this case, one eye has provided sight to five patients. When you donate a pair of eyes, you are enabling up to ten sight-saving operations.
All the eyes donated to the eye bank are used, and a record is maintained regarding them. Eyes that are not medically suitable for a corneal transplant may be used for medical research and education for teaching medical students. These “unfit” donated eyes provide the doctors with critical and valuable insight into many conditions of the eyes. And can help to find the cure for several diseases that are considered untreatable.
Eye donation thus not only restores sight for the blind, but it also makes research for new treatments possible.
|Eye Mantra Hospital
|National Eye Bank (AIIMS)
|Rotary Delhi Centre Eye Bank, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
|Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
In addition to these, there are several eye banks run by private hospitals and charitable trusts, details of which can easily be obtained online.
Religious beliefs regarding eye donation
Some people fear their religion before donating their eyes. They think that their religion will prohibit the donation of the eye. No religion in the world condemns the art of giving. All major religions either accept organ donation. Moreover, they allow the right of individual members to make their own decision. Most beliefs are in favour of organ donation as act of charity and as a means of saving a life.
Some people have this belief that they will offend their gods if they donate their eyes and will return to earth blind. In Hindus, it is believed that we never die, meaning our soul lives forever it’s just the body that keeps changing. So, eye or any organ donations is promoted by the people.
- Hinduism: Hindus are not prohibited by religious law from donating their organs at all. Hindu mythology has stories in which parts of the human body are used for the benefit of other humans and society. To quote the Manusmriti, “Of all the things that it is possible to donate, to donate your own body is infinitely more worthwhile”. In fact, of the ten Niyamas, Daan is on number three, emphasizing its importance.
- Islam: The majority of Islamic religious leaders accept organ donation during life (provided it does not harm the donor) and after death to save a life. To quote the Quran, the Surat Al-Ma’idah says: “And whoever saves one life, it is as if he had saved entire humanity.”
- Christianity: The command to “love your neighbour” was quoted by Jesus. It implies that the majority of Christian leaders accept organ donation once the person is dead. And the process of harvesting the organ does not take away the life of the donor.
- Buddhism and Jainism: Both these religions place great importance on compassion and charity, which are considered to be important. Organ donation has been widely supported by the community leaders and monks of these religions. Buddhists consider it a great virtue of donating one’s flesh for the sake of another.
- Sikhism: Sikh philosophy emphasizes the importance of giving and putting others before oneself. For Sikhs, the greatest act of virtue is the act of saving a human life. Therefore donating organs after death has been advocated by all Sikh leaders.
Who receives an eye transplant more frequently?
Most of the patients who receive transplants are older since the most common cause of corneal blindness affects the elder age group. However, there are a lot of children and young adults who also benefit from corneal transplants. Some young people who have lost their sight by any mishap or accident benefit from eye donation the most. eye donation can change somebody’s life for the better.
Similarly, most of the donors are also elderly. Eye banks usually accept donations from donors between the ages of 2 to 70 years. As a rule of thumb, patients receive corneal tissue from donors approximately the same age or younger than themselves. Eye banks do not refuse any eye donations. But, donations from people older than 75 years, are usually used for research purposes. In case the tissue is healthy it can be used for transplantation too.
If you are looking for a good eye hospital in Delhi. If you’re looking for any surgery related to eyes do visit our website Eyemantra. We offer various services like Retina Surgery, Cataract Surgery, Specs Removal, and many more.
Call +91-9711115191 now to book an appointment. Or email at [email protected]