Facts & Myths

Facts About visual impairment


In 2010, the number of people visually impaired was estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million were blind.

Around 1.4 million children are blind

The major causes of blindness in children include cataract, Retinopathy Of Prematurity (ROP), and vitamin A deficiency.  Approximately half of all childhood blindness can be avoided or treated.

VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IN INDIA

India has largest blind population

Globally the number of people of all ages visually impaired is estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million are blind.

  • 10 million Indians are visually impaired
  • 8 million are totally blind
  • What’s worse, 75% of these are cases of avoidable blindness, thanks to the country’s acute shortage of optometrists and donated eyes for the treatment of corneal blindness.
  • While India needs 40,000 optometrists, it has only 8,000.
  • On the other hand, while India needs 2.5 lakh donated eyes every year, the country’s 109 eye banks manage to collect a maximum of just 25,000 eyes, 30% of which can’t be used.

Facts & Myths About Eye Donation

MYTH FACT
Eyes can be removed out of living human beings Eyes are removed only after death
Eyes can be donated even by a live person Eyes can only be pledged by a live person. Eyes can be donated only after death
Removal of eyes causes disfigurement of the face Removal of eyes does not produce any disfigurement of the face
Eye donation interferes with, or delays customary final rites Eye donation does not interfere with or delay final rites, as the corneal excision procedure takes less than 20 minutes
Eyes of aged donors are not acceptable All donor eyes are acceptable irrespective of the donor’s age, including eyes of premature/ still born babies
Indian eyes are not good to be used for corneal transplantation Eyes of any deceased person anywhere in the world can be used for corneal transplantation following evaluation
An entire eye can be transplanted Only the cornea is use d for transplantation
Corneal transplantation is an experimental procedure Corneal transplantation is a proven, routinely performed surgery and is a successful procedure
Corneal transplantation is not effective and successful in Indian eyes Corneal transplantation is effective in all eyes, if performed under optimal conditions
Human eyes can be bought or sold Selling or buying of human eyes is illegal
Only those who have pledged their eyes can donate them after death Pledging of eyes is not important, because even in the case of a pledge, the consent of the family member is essential, without which an eye cannot be removed

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