Eye Donation

“Eye Donation” doesn’t mean the entire eye is transplanted; instead, only the cornea (the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye) is replaced, restoring sight to those with cornea-related blindness. The entire eye can be used for research and education, potentially helping thousands of people regain their sight as researchers gain new understanding of the cause and effects of eye conditions that lead to blindness.

Take a moment to consider eye donation and discuss your wishes with your family. If you wish to become an eye donor, sign up on the Donate Life Georgia Registry. Those not on the registry leave the decision to donate to their family.

Who Can Donate

Most people are eligible to become eye donors. Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? Have you had laser correction surgery (e.g. LASIK)? Do you have glaucoma or have you had cataract surgery? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can still donate your eyes for transplant. In fact, very few diseases or conditions interfere with your ability to donate your eyes. There are a number of myths and inaccuracies regarding eye, organ and tissue donation, many of which can cause suitable candidates to choose not to register as donors.

Why Don’t People Donate?

Approximately two-thirds of those surveyed in Georgia said they would donate if asked. So why don’t people donate? In the midst of the turmoil and sadness surrounding the loss of a loved one, families often simply forget their discussions about donation. This is why the best way to make your wishes known is to sign up on the registry.

The only factor that may limit corneal transplantation and donated eye tissue for research is the shortage of eye donations. The solution to increasing eye donation lies in educating the public and healthcare professionals. The more knowledgeable people are about eye donation, the more likely they will be to donate.

Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation

Becoming an eye donor is an easy and simple process. Once you have decided to make a difference in someone’s life by giving the Gift of Sight, sign up on the Donate Life Georgia donor registry. This single registry allows you to make your wishes known regarding donations of your eyes as well as other tissues and organs.

imageEye Donation FActs

The cornea is the clear tissue covering the front of the eye. It is the main focusing element of the eye. Vision will be dramatically reduced if the cornea becomes cloudy from disease, injury or infection.

Corneal transplantation is one of the most frequently performed human transplant procedures.

Most people can be an eye donor.

Cataracts, poor eyesight and prior eye surgery does not prohibit you from becoming an eye donor.

Individuals with cancer or diabetes may become eye donors.

Families do not incur extra expense; nor are they paid for eye donations.

Eye donation does not usually delay funeral arrangements or prohibit open caskets.

Eye donation is an opportunity to restore someone’s sight. Eye, organ, and tissue donations are consistent with the beliefs and attitudes of major religions.

If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number-one priority is to save your life. Strict laws protect potential donors from any form of medical rationing or discrimination, and eye, organ and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.

Donations that are unsuitable for transplant can be used for medical research and education.

Over 90% of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision.