Tuesday, March 17, 2015

" 56% of donated eyes go waste" published in Times of India on Tuesday 17th March 2015.

Half the donated eyes in India go waste

CHENNAI: More than 2.5 lakh blind people in India could regain eyesight if they get a corneal transplant, but more than 22,000 eyes donated last year went waste due to delay or infections. 

Union health ministry data shows 51,354 eyes were donated in 2013-14, but only 22,384 were used for transplant. The numbers have remained dismal over the past few years, with more than 50% of the donated eyes going waste. 

"The delay often occurs when family members of the deceased do not inform the nearest eye bank about the death. In time of grief, they do not think about it. And even if they do, the window period lapses as eyes have to be retrieved within six hours after death," said senior cornea surgeon Dr Ashwin Agarwal of Agarwal Eye Hospitals, Chennai. 

The removed eyes should be implanted in the next 24 hours, or stored at an eye bank, where it could be preserved for up to 14 days. Many harvested eyes are rendered useless because of infections. "We perform a blood test on the deceased, and if we find they have any infection, the eyes are declared unfit for transplant," Dr Agarwal said. Eyes of those with a history of trauma or previous surgeries are of little use. 

While hospital-based cornea retrieval is easy, there is lack of awareness among the public towards eye donation, said consultant cornea surgeon Dr M P Veenashree of Global Hospitals. "In a country of more than a billion people, only a few thousands come forward to donate their eyes. Moreover, unlike big metros, small towns do not have enough donation counsellors to facilitate the process," she said.
Senior ophthalmologist Dr E Ravindra Mohan of Trinethra Eye Care said the inclusion criteria for eye donation were very vast so a certain degree of wastage is natural. "We never say no to anyone who wants to donate their eyes, regardless of the condition of the organ. After running tests when we diagnose that the corneas are unfit, those eyes are considered a waste," he said. 

Medical experts say that it is not necessary that an eye should be used wholly and only on one person. "It is possible to use only a few layers of the cornea or the sclera. But poor upkeep of eyes result in its quality decreasing," said Dr Mohan. 

The doctor pointed out that lack of coordination among eye banks adds to eyes being wasted. "Unlike the cadaver donation programme in Tamil Nadu that works in a seamless manner, there is no free flow of information between eye banks to facilitate eye donations. There should be better co-ordination among them and they should be open to sharing," he said.

Press Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Half-the-donated-eyes-in-India-go-waste/articleshow/46589990.cms

Dont Bury.... Don't Burn
Make Eye Donation Your Family Tradition

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Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Snoring can lead to glaucoma: Experts

THRISSUR: Besides creating nuisance to those around you, snoring can aggravate glaucoma-optic nerve damage associated with the buildup of pressure in the eye-leading to loss of vision, experts said.

Studies reinforced the belief that those who snore were at the risk of developing glaucoma, ophthalmic surgeon Dr Rani Menon said.

"Snoring cuts off oxygen supply to your lungs and vital organs including the eyes. In glaucoma, already the opticval nerve cells are dying due to the increased pressure. Lack of oxygen accelerates the decay. So snoring is a very serious risk as far as glaucoma is concerned,'' she said.

When pressure builds up, the nerve cells inside the eye get strangulated and they start dying. There are about five million nerve cells in the human eye, and vision would be affected when about 30% cent of them are lost.

According to statistics, one in 200 of those aged above 40 stand the risk of getting glaucoma affected, while one in 100 aged above 65were at risk. In India, about 11.9 million people are glaucoma-affected.

Though early detection is critical in treating glaucoma, patients seldom perceive any clear symptom, said Dr Babu Krishnakumar, secretary of the Kerala society of ophthalmic surgeons.

People do get your eyes checked every  6 monthly or 1 yearly with an ophthalmologist to avoid the risk of Glaucoma! 

'Glaucoma Week' is being organized across the world from March 8.

Press Link: 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson