Awareness & Perception: A doctor's POV on eye donation


While eye donation is one of the noblest acts of charity that one can do, only five percent of demand is met for corneal transplants. With an incredible amount of medical advancements, millions of those who have corneal blindness have been able to see. This has only been possible due to the selfless acts of those who have pledged their eyes. In fact, in India, eye donation is not a monetary exercise, but a complete act of charity.



What are the requirements for eye donation?

The eye tissue is used in several ways, most commonly for corneal transplantation. The cornea is the clear part of the eye, quite similar to that of a watch crystal. Patients who require a corneal transplant are usually those having a disease, scar or an active infection involving the cornea.


Can an eye donor help more than one person?

Various other parts of the eye, such as the sclera or the white part of the eye are used in several types of oculoplastic as well as in glaucoma surgeries. So, yes you can be an eye donor and help more than one person.


However, for patients who are completely blind and unable to experience the slightest trace of light, cannot benefit from any type of corneal transplantation whatsoever.



Can we use artificial tissues instead of a donor cornea?

A certain type of surgery known as keratoprosthesis uses artificial corneas as well as other medical items to treat the eyes. Considering the fact that these are quite difficult to perform, it is still being investigated. This is used where it's impossible to arrange for a donor cornea. Some patients with severe scarring of the eye socket, where the lids fail to operate normally may benefit from a keratoprosthesis.


Can a person who is alive donate their eyes?

As a matter of fact, corneal donation comes from people who are dead. However, in certain rare circumstances, a donor may be living. For instance, a patient who has an ocular tumour in the back of the eye may donate their eyes at the time the eye is removed.


In case an eye is blind and is removed, but is healthy in the front, the cornea might also be used. Although it is very rare, another special case where a person may donate a cornea, is when one eye can see but the other can't. Besides that, there are no instances of donation amongst people who are living in any other circumstances.


To add to it, at a time when the world has shut down, it is recommended to keep certain medical equipment handy in order to detect strabismus, or even check for red reflex in the eyes. The heine mini 3000 otoscope comes with XHL Xenon Halogen Bulb Technology, which you can easily procure from Smart Medical Buyer, right at the comfort of your homes.


Above all, eye donation doesn’t require you to use money at any step, and this makes it the most generous act of charity. Without any effort, it can help reduce blindness in the world. It is also important to remember that no matter what your health condition is, an eye donation is never refused. In case you're wondering why, it is because even when the eyes cannot be used to provide sight to someone who has corneal blindness, they can still be used for research and medical education.