Over 1.02 million people in the United States are legally blind, and over13% are dealing with low vision. The cornea is the first lens of the eye that focuses light on the retina. Corneal blindness is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US. As per the WHO, around 4.9 million people are blind due to corneal diseases.
The only possible treatment for this is corneal transplantation. Eye donation can do wonders by giving sight to a blind person.
What is an Eye Bank?
An eye bank is a non-profit organization that collects and preserves donated eyes for transplant into patients. The eyes are later sterilized and preserved. These banks are responsible for procuring and maintaining eye tissues and educating the public about eye donation and eye banking services. It’s also known as a tissue bank or tissue center. Eye banks can receive cornea donations for people between two and seventy years.
Tests and Transplants
Doctors usually treat blindness by using cornea from human corpses to replace damaged ones in corneal Transplantation or Keratoplasty. After receiving the corneas, the bank tests them to ensure they meet standards and are healthy enough to be implanted into another person’s body. Corneal transplantation is a surgical procedure to replace clouded or damaged cornea with a healthy one from a deceased donor.
How Does This Donation Process Work?
Usually, the deceased’s body is sent to the eye bank within six hours of death. Doctors remove the corneas and send them to a hospital for transplantation. The rest of the body is sent back to the family for last rites or burial. The entire process takes less than an hour, and no disfigurement is caused to the face. The corneas are then taken to an eye bank. They will be evaluated for medical suitability and preserved in a particular solution until they are transplanted into another person’s eyes, usually within a week.
Importance of Eye Banks
There’s a dire shortage of donor corneas, so eye banks are a vital source of supply. Corneal donation is one of the most prosperous areas of transplantation because it does not require a perfect match between donor and recipient. An eye bank may accept your cornea even if you have other health issues, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. A single cornea can potentially help two patients, one as a full-thickness transplant and the other as a partial-thickness transplant.
The number of patients waiting for a transplant far outnumbers those who donate their organs upon death. This has led to hundreds of thousands of people losing their eyesight unnecessarily every year. You will help needy patients and help restore sight to them. Currently, demand far outweighs supply, so there’s a need for more volunteers to donate their corneas.
Register with an Eye Bank
A single cornea donation can help restore sight to two people. If you wish to donate your eyes after death, then it would be best to register with an eye bank in your area. Corneal donation is one of the most rewarding acts. You can register to donate your corneas after death, thereby helping needy patients and helping transform their lives. You will be able to usher new dawn to someone’s life and help them live a satisfying life full of freedom, adventure, and fulfillment.