The cornea is the clear outer covering of the eye located directly over the iris. Corneal transplantation can significantly improve the vision of patients experiencing diminished corneal clarity caused by an injury or a disease process that becomes severe.
A corneal transplant is the replacement of an injured or diseased cornea with a donor cornea. Donor corneas come from individuals who have died and donated their corneas or their whole eyes.
Over 40,000 corneas are distributed for transplantation by U.S. eye banks each year. The Lions Eye Bank of Texas at Baylor College of Medicine distributes tissue to surgeons for their patients according to a strict protocol that ensures fairness and equitability.
As the demand for corneal transplants increases each year, it is more important than ever to raise awareness of the importance of becoming a donor.
Facts About Eye Donation
- Almost anyone between the age of 2-74 can be a donor.
- Most people that are eligible to donate blood can be a suitable eye donor.
- Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what can be donated.
- Over 76,000 corneas were provided for transplant by Eye Banks in the United States during 2014.
- Over 95 percent of all corneal transplants performed are successful.
- If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life.
- Corneas must be recovered within 24 hours after death.
- Donation does not normally delay funeral arrangements.
- An open-casket funeral is possible for eye, organ, and tissue donors.
- There is no cost to the donor or their family for eye/cornea donation.
Eye Donor Registration
To register as a donor, use the Lions Texas 2-Step Method.
1. Visit Donate Life Texas and be certain to take the necessary steps to register as a donor.
2. Talk to your family and friends about donation.
For more information about eye donation, please contact the Lions Eye Bank of Texas at 1-800-4CORNEA (1-800-426-7632).