Eyes are one of the most important sensory organs in the human body because it renders vision and the power to see. Visually impaired people feel that their life is incomplete as they can just touch, feel and smell things but can’t see it.
Statistics show that there are 15 million blind people in India and out of this, 6.8 million people are suffering from 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 to as corneal blindness. Several corneal diseases affect children and adults and can affect both eyes making them blind.
When the eye is affected only by corneal diseases, replacing this part will restore the vision in such people. Corneal replacement is an easy and simple surgery and is performed at several eye hospitals in the country.
Significance of Eye donation
Donated eyes can be used to restore vision in people who are suffering from corneal blindness. The front, clear and transparent tissue of the eye called as cornea can be used to restore vision in a 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.
From each pair of donated eyes, two blind people will get vision and light in to their life, thus making it more divine.
Eye donation is an act of donating one’s eyes after his/her death. It is an act of charity, purely for the benefit of the society and is totally voluntary. The eye donation of the deceased can be authorized by the next of kith & kin even if the deceased did not pledge to donate his / her eyes before death. Age or systemic illness such as diabetes or hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease is not barriers for eye donations. The corneas of a person are unaffected even if they have undergone any eye surgeries in the past and hence will be useful can be transplanted in others.
There are wide spread social awareness programs and activities conducted across the country to impart the significance of eye donation and its usefulness to the visually impaired people. Till date, medical researchers and scientists are working on developing artificial cornea, but till that time, donating the eyes would be the best gift ever for a blind person suffering from corneal blindness.