Head to this Wed. between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for free eye education, courtesy of the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island. North Shore University Hospital has paired with the bank to offer its free education program at various North Shore-LIJ Health System hospitals to increase awareness about the need for donations.
“Eye Donor Awareness Month offers a great opportunity for individuals to learn how they can make a difference in the life of someone who may need a sight-restoring corneal transplant,” Kenneth Manger, program director of the Lions Eye Bank for Long Island at NSUH, said.
Volunteers and representatives of the eye bank will be at the hospital to hand out information and discuss donations. “We’ll be providing information about eye donations, helping people register for the state organ donation program,” Manger said.
Last year, more than 40,000 corneal transplants were performed in the United States. The Long Island bank, which was created in 1986, has distributed 11,583 corneas, or 450 to 500 transplants a year, Manger said.
Donations can consist of corneas or the whole eye, with portions of the latter used for emergency surgeries while others go to research or for training, Manger said.
While corneal transplants rely on donations from other people, donations also contribute to cures for such other eye problems as glacoma, complications from diabetes or retinal disease.
“It’s simple to become an eye donor; sign up by visiting our website and enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Registry,” Manger said.