What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface at the front of the eye. It is the main focusing mechanism of the eye.

What is corneal blindness?
Corneal blindness is a visual impairment that is caused when the cornea becomes clouded, scarred, or misshapen. This condition may be the result of injury, infection or disease.

What is the corneal transplant?
The transplant is a surgical procedure which replaces a diseased or non-functional cornea with a new, healthy donor cornea.

Is the whole eye transplanted?
No, only the cornea is transplanted; however sections of sclera (the white, fibrous shell of the eye), can be used to mend punctured eyes or be used for other surgical purposes.

How common is the corneal transplant?
The corneal transplant is the most frequently performed human transplant procedures performed. Since 1960, more than 500,000 corneal transplants have been performed, restoring sight to men women and children ranging in age from one day to 103 years.

How successful is the corneal transplant?
Approximately 94% off all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision.

Why should someone want to donate their eyes?
There is no substitute for human tissue. The transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of corneal donation. Eyes are needed for transplantation as well as for research and education. Without corneal donors, those in need would not receive the gift of sight.

Who can be an eye donor?
Anyone can be an eye donor. Cataracts, poor eye sight, and other similar conditions would not prohibit you from being an eye donor. It is important for individuals wanting to be donors to inform their family members of their wishes.

If a person has signed a donor card or a driver’s license, how can they be sure that their wishes regarding donation will be carried out?
Tell your family you want to be an eye donor. Next of kin consent is required for donation, so it is helpful if your family knows ahead of time how you feel about it.

How great is the need for corneas?
Although more than 44,000 corneal transplants were performed in North America last year, the need for corneal tissue is never satisfied.

Will the quality of medical treatment be affected if one is a donor?
Strict laws protect the potential donor. The attending physician involved would not be involved with the donation process. It is only after the donor’s death will the family be asked to donate their loved ones eyes.

Will the family of the donor know who received their loved ones corneas?
The gift of sight is made anonymously. Identifying information about the donor or donor’s family is not available to the recipient. If the donor’s family or recipient wishes to send correspondence, the eye bank will convey the messages with permission from the receiving party.

Are there religious objections to eye donation?
No. Donation is an opportunity to help save a life or restore someone’s sight. As such, eye, organ and tissue donation is consistent with the beliefs of all major religions. For a list of the world’s