Eye Donation Facts

More than 100,000 Americans are in need of eye, tissue, or organ donations. Worldwide, a shortage of corneas for transplant leaves too many people waiting for the chance to see. You can help. Be a donor and give someone in need restored sight and renewed life.

Many factors determine whether or not a person meets donation criteria, but most people can be donors. Some things that DO NOT necessarily prevent one from being a donor are: age, cataracts, prior surgeries (including laser eye surgery), most cancers, and poor vision. Feel free to contact the eye bank if you have questions about a specific condition and its impact on donation.

  • Donation must  occur within hours of death.
  • Donation can occur at a hospital, in a hospice setting, and at a funeral home.
  • Donors are treated with dignity and respect.
  • Lions Gift of Sight practices both whole eye and in situ (cornea only) donation.
  • While the cornea (the clear tissue in the front of the eye) is the only part of the eye regularly transplanted, the sclera (white of the eye) can also be used in some surgeries.
  • The entire eye can be used for research and education.