What is a cornea transplant?

The cornea is the transparent window that covers the iris, pupil and anterior segment of your eye. It is important that the cornea is in optimum health so that it can direct light on to the optic nerve and give a person the best vision possible. A corneal transplant is when all or a certain layer of the cornea is replaced with donor tissue due to damage done to the cornea’s shape, clarity or smoothness.

How common are corneal transplants?

Since 1961, more than 1,500,000 men, women, and children worldwide have had their sight restored through corneal transplantation. There are 10 million cornea-blind individuals worldwide.

What is the success rate of corneal transplantation?

Over 95% of corneal transplant surgeries are successful in restoring the sight of the individual.

Who can be a cornea-tissue donor?

The great thing about corneal tissue is that everyone is a universal donor. Blood type, age, what your eye color is or how good your eye sight is do not matter.  Most people are suitable donors, aside from those who suffer from infections or a few highly communicable diseases, like HIV or hepatitis.

What are the fees associated with Cornea donation?

There is absolutely no charge for procurement of tissue for the cornea donor. Any fees associated with receiving a cornea donation are absorbed by the collection eye bank.

HOw does the eye bank ensure safe corneal tissue for transplant?

The donated eyes and the donor’s medical and social history are evaluated by the eye bank in accordance with the Eye Bank Association of America’s (EBAA) strict Medical Standards, as well as with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

In addition to these standards for evaluating safety of donors and donor tissues, the EBAA also provides standards for eye banks to use in training personnel to evaluate donor eyes. With the recipient’s safety in mind, only corneas that have met strict evaluation guidelines set forth by the EBAA and FDA are distributed.

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