Skip to main content



If you can see by simply slipping on a pair of glasses, or if you don’t need glasses or contact lenses at all, the gift of sight is something we can easily take for granted. For millions of people worldwide who are affected by corneal eye disease or corneal damage, they see darkness where others see light.

What Is Cornea & Eye Donation?

Cornea and eye donation is the first step in the cornea transplant process. A cornea transplant is a surgical procedure where surgeons implant the cornea from a deceased donor into a recipient who has corneal blindness. This surgery helps restore vision in someone who has lost the gift of sight.

Over 95 percent of corneal transplant surgeries successfully restore the recipient’s vision.

What is the Cornea?

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped surface of the front of your eye. The cornea makes up approximately two-thirds of your eye’s total optical power. It also helps protect your eyes from dust, germs, and foreign particles.

Cornea illustration

What is Corneal Blindness?

Corneal blindness can be caused by either a corneal disease or a corneal injury. When a person suffers from corneal blindness, their vision is significantly impaired and many are not able to accomplish many simple day-to-day tasks.

Two Common Corneal Diseases


Keratoconus causes a steep curving of the cornea that causes visual distortion (or changes to your vision). These include: ghosting, multiple images, glare, halos, and starburst. Researchers estimate that 1 out of 2000 people have keratoconus.

Fuchs' Dystrophy

Fuchs’ Dystrophy occurs when the endothelial cells (cells that make up the endothelium seen in the diagram to the right) slowly deteriorate. This causes someone to experience glare and sensitivity to light, eye pain, halos, and difficulty seeing at night.


What is Having Corneal Blindness Like?

This image shows what some corneal blindness sufferers may experience
This image shows what some corneal blindness sufferers may experience

Stories from Donors & Recipients

Read about these life-changing donations and learn how you can share your story.

Surgical & Tissue Services For Surgeons

Learn more about the surgical and tissue services we offer and how to request tissue from us.

More Information

For Donor Families

Why Cornea & Eye Donation?

Learn about the cornea and eye donation process, our most frequently asked questions, and some available grief resources and support.
Learn About Donation

Writing to Transplant Recipients

Although a personal decision, for some choosing to write to a recipient can help in the grieving process.
Learn How to Write to Transplant Recipients

For Patients

Cornea Transplant Surgery

Learn about the cornea transplantation surgery and what to expect during the recovery process.
Learn About Cornea Surgery

Writing to Your Donor Family

Although a personal decision, for some donor families, receiving a letter from you--the recipient--can help the grieving process.
Learn How to Write to Your Donor's Family