At least 50 lives are improved by one person’s selfless end-of-life gift of their tissue to help others. The donation of corneas is one of those precious gifts. This month marks the 29th anniversary of the Eye Bank Association of America’s (EBAA) declaration of March as National Eye Donor Month.
Each year, approximately 59,000 individuals benefit from corneal transplantation. Visual loss from corneal disease compromises quality of life, making it difficult for people to do “everyday things,” such as read street signs or food labels. This tragic loss of vision may result from congenital corneal disease, infection, trauma, chemical burns, or corneal swelling.
According to the World Health Organization, about 285 million people are visually impaired; 39 million of them are blind. In the United States alone, 80 million people suffer from a potentially blinding disease.
Fortunately, through the medical miracle of corneal transplantation, sight restoration is possible. Since there is no substitute for human tissue, the transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of eye donation from one human to another. The mission of the EBAA and its member eye banks is to facilitate and safeguard this gift and its transfer from donor to recipient. With a success rate of over 95% in saving and improving vision, transplants bring light to the world of people from all walks of life–from the very young to the very old.
This month, we ask you to help us to spread the word about this important issue. Signing up to be not only an eye donor but a tissue donor is easy by taking these simple steps:
- Register to be a donor here.
- Indicate you’re a donor on your Driver’s License.
- Be sure to share your decision with your friends, and most importantly, your family.