Donate Eye

Facts about Eye Donation

Do you know?

Our eyes live even after our death

We can light the life of two blind persons by donating our eyes after our death

Eye donation is the noblest of all causes

Become eternal. Donate eyes

Magnitude of the problem of blindness in India

We have an estimated 4.6 million people with corneal blindness that is curable through corneal transplantation with eyes received by us as donations. Out of this, an estimated 4.6 million are 90% of the people with corneal blindness are below the age of 45 years. More than 80% of such blind people can be cured by an operation known as corneal transplantation and vision restored. Only source of healthy cornea for transplantation is the eyeballs donated by persons after their death. Your beloved ones thus live and light up the lives of others even after death.

What is a cornea? What is its function?

The cornea is the clear, transparent dome (like the glass cover of a wrist watch) in front of the "black portion" of the eye. It helps in focusing the light rays on the retina by converging them as they enter. It is thus the most important part of the optical apparatus of the Eye. Loss of transparency directly results in loss of vision.

How does a cornea become opaque?

- Infection
- Injuries
- Iatrogenic (Malpractice, Improper Post-op. care after any eye surgery)
- Malnutrition
- Congenital/Hereditary.

Corneal blindness is blindness caused due to any reason wherein Cornea becomes opaque; hence obstructing light entering inside the eyes.

What is Eye Donation?

Donating eyes after death is eye donation. Eye donation means people pledging to donate their eyes after death to be used for corneal grafting for restoring sight to corneal blind people.

What is corneal transplantation (Keratoplasty)?

A Corneal transplantation is an operation that replaces the opaque cornea of the recipient with a clear cornea obtained from a human donor.

What is the source of cornea?

The only source of cornea is from donated human eyeballs. From eye donation (two eyeballs) after the death two corneal blind patients can be cured.

Who can donate eyes?

Anybody who wishes can donate his / her eyes after death.
Eye donors could be of any age group or sex.
People who use spectacles, diabetics, and patients with high blood pressure, asthma patients and those without communicable diseases can donate eyes.
Patients who have undergone cataract surgery can also donate eyes.

A person blind due to retinal or optic nerve disease can also donate his/her eyes


provided the cornea of the donor is clear. If the donate cornea is unhealthy or there is a chance of disease transmission from the donor cornea to the recipient (e.g. HIV, hepatitis, cancer patients etc), then these eyeballs are not used for corneal transplantation; however these eyeballs are not wasted as these are used for various researches and other purposes.

Are there any religious conflicts in eye donation?

There are no religious conflicts on eye donation. Eye donation gives a gift of life or sight to others. As such, it is consistent with beliefs and attitudes of all major religious and ethical traditions. Religious leaders throughout the world have voiced their support for eye donation as an expression of the highest humanitarian ideas. There is also a misconception that after eye donation a person would be born blind in the next birth. This is utter non sense and does not carry any truth.

Is the whole eye of the donor transplanted?

No, only the cornea is transplanted. However, the rest of the eye is used for research and education purposes.

Can a living person donate his eyes?

No, donation from living persons is not accepted.

Are any costs involved in eye donation?

No fees are charged from family. The eye collection centre will rush a doctor to the donor’s home after information is received about the death of the donor. This is a free service in the public interest.

Can the next of kin consent to a donation if the deceased person has not signed an eye donation form?

Yes, the relatives of the deceased can decide on the eye donation of their beloved one.

Eye donation: How does it work?

- The eyes have to be removed within six hours to death; therefore the nearest eye bank or eye collection centre must be informed of the death immediately
- The donors need not to be taken to the eye bank or eye donation centre. The eye bank/eye donation centre team will come to take the eyes wherever the donor is, at no cost.
- Removal of eyes is by a simple procedure known as enucleation and it does not take a long time. It causes no scar or disfigurement of the face and is done with full honor to the deceased body.
- On reaching the eye bank eyes are evaluated processed and used for a corneal transplant surgery
- The donated eyes used for the patients that are on the waiting list, in accordance with the priority, based on the guidelines

Contact the eye bank/ eye donation centre nearest you (by phone or personal visit) and they will register your pledge and will provide you an Eye Donation card. It is preferable if all members of the family pledge their eyes together. However, an individual can also pledge his/her eyes at any time in life. The eyes shall be collected only after death of the person who has pledged and /or if the close relatives give consent for the same. The eyes of a deceased person can also be donated whether he has pledged his eyes in life or not, (under law, relatives of the deceased can donate his/her eyes provided he/she has never spoken against eye donation).

- Get the death certificate quickly and call the nearest eye bank / eye donation centre for eye collection
- Keep both eyes of the beloved deceased closed and cover with moist cotton.
- Switch off the ceiling fan, if any, directly over the deceased person
- If possible, apply antibiotic eye drops periodically in the deceased person’s eyes to reduce the chance of any infection.
- Raise the head of the deceased by about six inches, if possible, to reduce the chances of bleeding at the time of removal of the eyes
- Please note that a blood sample is collected from the donor to check for AIDS, hepatitis etc.

After death the mortal body will perish but if our eyes can make two blind peoples see again it is the supreme gift and service what a person can do even after death.
Come on let us all pledge our eyes for eye donation today

Ramakrishna Mission Hospital
Eye Donation Centre
Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
Phone No: 0360-2212263 / 2217870
Tel-Fax No: 0360-2212761