Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a small list of our most frequently asked questions. We hope you can find what you are looking for, but if you have a question which is not answered then please call us at (808) 536-7416. You can also ask us a question anytime using the online form below.
What is an eye bank?
Eye banks act as intermediaries that safeguard ocular tissue, especially corneas, recovered from donors until the tissue is requested by a medical center or research institution. Transplantable human tissue requires specialized, temperature-sensitive storage and sterile processing.
Why are donor corneas needed?
75% of all cases of blindness or severe vision impairment are considered ‘avoidable,’ or immediately treatable with access to transplantable tissue. There is currently no clinically acceptable substitute for the human cornea, and so a transplanted cornea is the only hope of regaining sight for those who suffer from corneal blindness. Fortunately, this means that the generosity of donors can have a tremendous impact. In the US there is currently no waitlist for receiving a donated cornea, thanks to the continued selflessness of donors and their families.
What is a cornea transplant?
The cornea is the clear exterior front portion of the human eye, located right where a contact lens sits. It covers the iris and helps focus light on the retina. Injury or disease can cause the cornea to become cloudy or otherwise nonfunctional, which stops light from properly entering the eye and results in partial or total loss of sight. During a cornea transplant surgery, also called a keratoplasty, the ophthalmic surgeon removes the nonfunctional corneal tissue and replaces it with healthy tissue from a donated cornea.
Donated corneas are critically important to sight restoration, but the transplantation procedure itself is safe and effective. 44,000 corneal transplants are performed every year, making it the most common transplant surgery.
- People with poor vision, cancer, diabetes, and most other medical conditions can still become eye donors.
- All major religions endorse eye, organ, and tissue donation
- Eye donation does not delay or affect funeral arrangements, including open casket viewing
- There is no cost to the donor family
- The decision to donate is confidential
- Cornea donation can help multiple people regain their sight, through grafting and transplantation. Eye donations can also help thousands of people by furthering medical research.