Are you registered as an organ and tissue donor? When most people think
of becoming a donor, they think of donating major organs, such as the
heart, liver and kidneys. Many people don’t realize the impact that
the donation of tissues like corneas can have on the life of the recipient.
By registering to be a donor, you can give the gift of sight to one or
two people who have lost their sight to corneal blindness.
The cornea is the clear, outermost layer of the eye. When it becomes scarred,
clouded or damaged due to disease, blurred vision and even blindness may
occur. A corneal transplant can restore a patient's vision when the
eye is too damaged or diseased to treat with vision surgery such as LASIK.
According to the Eye Bank Association of America, more than 123,000 cornea
donations were reported in the U.S. in 2013. Many U.S. eye banks also
provide donated eye tissue for transplant in countries where corneal blindness
is more prevalent, HIV and other transmittable diseases run rampant or
where culture and religious restrictions prevent tissue donation.
Facts and information about the cornea and corneal disease from the National
How to become an eye donor
• Enroll in the online donor registry by visiting the Donate Life
website in your state.
Click here to register with Donate Life Texas.
• Designate that you wish you be an organ and tissue donor when you
apply for your drivers license. If you have a current license that does
not display the donation symbol, take a moment to fill out the donor information
on the back of your license. Be sure to write directly on the plastic.
• Inform your family and friends of your wish to become a donor. This
is the most important step in becoming an organ and tissue donor.
Next time you renew your driver’s license, be sure to update your
donor status. Donating organs or tissue after your death is a generous
gift that will save and improve lives.