Donating Your Corneas: Things Worth Knowing About Corneal transplantation

Organ & tissue donation is one subject that needs more attention and awareness. Every year, hundreds of patients die because they couldn’t find a matching organ donor in time. Kidneys and liver remain the most-needed organs, while corneal transplants are most common type of tissue transplant. Corneal transplant could be a cure for blindness for a patient, who has conditions such as corneal dystrophy that can cause complete/partial loss of vision, if not treated in time. If you want to donate your eyes and corneas, here are some aspects worth knowing.

  1. Who can donate eyes & corneas?

You can donate your eyes, like other organs, to become an eye donor. Eye tissues are used in many ways, but most common of all is corneal transplant. In general, corneal transplantation is considered for patients who have corneal infection, corneal dystrophy, scar or other eye conditions. Besides the cornea, sclera can be used for selected surgeries, such as one for treatment of glaucoma.

Age, race and other aspects do not matter for becoming an eye donor. After the death of the donor, the medical experts and doctors will decide if a person’s organs & tissues, such as corneas, can be considered for transplant. Most religions also support organ donation and consider this as an act of compassion. You can talk to your local religious advisor to find more, if you have your doubts.

  1. How successful is corneal transplantation?

Since 1961, more than a million patients in the US have got back their eyesight using corneal transplantation. It is one of the most successful transplantation procedures and requires almost no recovery time, unlike most organ transplants, where patients may need months in healing and recovery. In general, corneal transplantation is considered to be an extremely successful procedure, with success rate of over 90%.

  1. How to become a donor?

You can sign up for the State registry of your state, if you have a driver’s license, or State ID. If you don’t have one, you can sign up for National Registry. Make sure that your family is aware of your decision and is supportive of the same. There are many charitable organizations that are constantly connecting patients and organ donors, and you can contact one of these organizations to know more.

You can save many lives, give the gift of vision to an unknown individual – Sign up to become an organ donor now.

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