I am part of Mumbai Freethinkers, Mumbai chapter of Nirmukta an organisation that promotes scientific thinking and rationality in India. We had organised an eye donation camp on Sunday 16 October and Dr. Mayur Morekar, a fellow freethinker gave an awesome presentation about the benefits of eye donation and gave some useful tips for protecting our eyes.
Key points of the talk:
A. Eye Donation.
1. Individuals of any age can donate the eyes. The donor may be a just born neonate or a 100 year old adult. Anyone, even people who have undergone cataract surgery, LASIK surgery, spectacle wearers, and diabetics can also pledge to donate their eyes.
2. A single individual’s eyes can help up to 4-6 people. Different layers of the two corneas and parts of sclerae of the 2 eyes can potentially save the structure and provide sight to upto 6 different people.
3. The procedure takes only 15 minutes. In most instances the entire eye is not removed. Only the cornea which is the outermost part is removed and small guaze balls are placed and the eyelids are closed. There is no damage to the face. Externally it would be difficult to tell that the eyes have been donated.
4. In case of an urgent call for eye donation for our beloved ones, dial 1919 to connect to the nearest eye bank. Eye bank personnel would visit our homes and do the needful within half an hour of reaching our homes.
5. Eyes have to be removed within 6 hours of the death and transplanted to the recipient within 96 hours.
6. India has tremendous shortage of corneas, so everyone must donate their eyes.
B. How can one prevent an eye infection?
One of the commonest reasons for corneal blindness in India is infection.
1. If you feel something is in the eye; DO NOT rub the eye, let it tear and visit an eye surgeon.
2. Do not be your own doctor and do not try over the counter eye drops from a local chemist. Eyes are too precious. Do not neglect them; go see an eye specialist immediately in case of injury to the eyes.
3. Be extremely meticulous while wearing and removing contact lenses. Make sure you do not scratch your eye while removing or inserting the contact lens. DO NOT share contact lenses, clean them regularly with the contact lens solution provided.
C. Tips for people who work long hours in front of computer
1. Take short breaks after every 30 – 40 minutes and look at distance, out of an open window or down a long corridor as far as possible for a minute or two.
2. Remember to blink when you are in front of a computer screen. The blink rate drops from normal of about 18 times per minute, to as low as only thrice every minute. Try to keep your blink rate as close to normal while on computers
3. Maintain the computer monitor 20 degrees below eye level.
4. Use an anti-glare screen monitor.
Here is a program that will remind you to take a break on a Windows computer – http://themech.net/eyesrelax/
D. Some myths about eye numbers
Eye numbers in a child depend on two factors – length of the eye and the shape of the cornea. And in a child the eye number will change with age till they stabilize when the growth of the child stabilizes between 18-22 years of age. So don’t scold your child if he/she gets glasses and expect the eye numbers to change as the child grows; till it stabilizes. Having glasses is not really your or your child’s fault.
LASIK surgery to get rid of glasses is advisable only when the numbers stabilize and remain stable for a year.
Finally Dr. Mayur R. Moreker spoke a few minutes on the realization of his passion to be a Martial Arts Student touching upon the innovative concept of training the visually impaired in Martial Arts at Aatish Academy For Performing X-treme Arts, Andheri, Mumbai
Attendees dispersed after pledging their eyes for donation.
Dr. Mayur R. Moreker is a Consultant Eye Surgeon, Specialist in Ocular Inflammation, Immunology, Uveitis, Eye Infections, Cornea, Ocular Surface Disorders and Complicated Cataract Surgeries and a Personal Counselor at
Bombay Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Mumbai and an
X-treme Martial Arts Student at Aatish Academy For Performing X-treme Arts, Mumbai.
He can be reached on +91 9820308358 or eyeinflammation at gmail dot com