Eye Donation: Don’t Let These Myths Confuse You

Imagine not seeing the rainbow, not seeing a loved one laugh when you crack a joke and not seeing a child dance. You can’t picture that because you are reading this right now and you know how these things look like. But not everyone’s as lucky as you are, at least not the 1.1 million Indians who suffer from corneal blindness and are waiting for the availability of donor eye tissue. ( Source – https://sites.ndtv.com/moretogive/donate-eye-every-fifth-blind-person-world-indian-1946/). If you want people to see the world through your eyes, long after you are gone, you are on the right page.
Unfortunately, some myths and misconceptions are stopping people from pledging to donate their eyes and letting people see the world through their eyes, long after they are gone. Before you become a donor, here are some information which will open your eyes to the importance of eye donation and will not let myths and misconceptions keep you from saving lives:

Myth: Doctors will make little efforts to save my life if they are aware I am a registered organ donor.
Truth: It’s the duty of doctors, nurses and other health experts involved to save your life. The role of transplant surgeons comes into the scene after all the efforts to save a life has been exhausted.

Myth: Eye donation will leave holes in the eye socket causing face disfigurement
Truth: Eye donation does not cause any disfigurement of the face. Only the cornea of the eye is removed and not the entire eye. Thus, this should not interfere with any customary funeral plans, including those with open-casket viewings. The dignity and respect for the donor is maintained at all times.

Myth: I wear spectacles, I cannot donate eyes.
Truth: You can donate your eyes even if you have poor eyesight. Cataract, poor eyesight, and age do not hinder eye donation.

Myth: My eyes will be sold to rich patients.
Truth: Eye donation is an act of charity and it is illegal to buy and sell human eyes, organs, and tissues.

Myth: If I am in a state of comatose, my eyes will be harvested.
Truth: Being comatose and being brain dead are two entirely different things. Patients in a state of comatose are alive and will not be considered for organ donation at all. A person can come out of a state of comatose but declared brain dead it is nearly impossible to for a person come alive.

Myth: I am old and frail. I won’t be considered for being an eye donor.
Truth: Anyone can donate eyes irrespective of their age. You can donate your eyes with certain illnesses except for HIV infection, active cancer, or a systemic infection. No matter how young or old an individual is, the transplant team will determine whether the donation is possible or not at the time of death.

Myth: I am under age 18. I am too young to make a decision on eye donation.
Truth: Legally, yes but your parents or legal guardians can authorise this decision. You can express to your family you wish to donate. There are thousands of children who are in need of organ transplants and they need smaller organs than those an adult can provide.

Myth: My family will be asked to pay for the procedure of retrieving the corneas.
Truth: The family of the donor doesn’t have to bear any expense of organ and tissue donation. The family, however, has to take care of the funeral expenses on its own.

Myth: The retrieval of the corneas is a long procedure and will delay the funeral procedure.
Truth: The whole procedure doesn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes.

Myth: There’s no need to inform my family about eye donation and I can mention about it in my will.
Truth: If you’re not a registered eye donor, your family’s consent is required. By the time your ‘will’ will be read and executed, it will be too late for you to be a donor. It’s best to pledge your eyes and inform your family about your wish to be a donor.

Myth: After pledging my eyes, I can not go back to being a non-donor.
Truth: The reality is that you can change your mind anytime you want. By informing the registry you can withdraw your registration. You can inform your family about your decision and tear up the donor registration card.

How can I become an eye donor?

Now that you are armed with facts and information, you can give the gift of eyesight to others and make your eyes immortal. Get more information here http://www.dishaeye.org/donate-your-eyes.

We at Disha Eye Hospital are committed to the cause of eye donation. Pledge your eyes with our eye bank and take a step towards a noble cause of giving some the gift of sight. This Diwali we created an eye donation awareness campaign on lighting up lives that were spent in darkness.

Do watch it. And you can also be a part of the campaign by sharing and liking it https://www.facebook.com/dishaeyehospitals/videos/2282826095337762/.

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