Almost everyone can give the beautiful gift of sight through eye/cornea donation. If the cornea, the clear dime-sized tissue that covers the front of the eye, becomes cloudy as a result of injury or disease, blindness can occur. Through cornea transplantation, the damaged cornea is replaced with a clear donor cornea and eyesight can be restored.
Eye donations are also used in surgeries to reconstruct the orbit when a prosthetic eye is the only option and for medical studies to discover treatments and cures of blinding eye diseases. Recipients of donor eye tissue range in age from newborns through adulthood. Unlike solid organ donation, a history of cancer does not automatically rule out eye donation. Donor tissue that cannot be used for transplant can, with consent, be used for medical education and research purposes. The only substitute for a human cornea is another human cornea donated at death by someone who thus leaves a living legacy. Eye donation should not prevent having an open casket service.