Who Can Be An Eye Donor?

Unlock the gift of Sight: How Nearly Everyone Can Contribute to Eye Donation

By Derek Simon - June 26, 2024

Eye donation is an incredible gift, one that almost everyone can give.  You might be surprised to learn that almost anyone, of any age, can be an eye donor. Unlike many other types of donations, the blood type of the donor does not need to match that of the recipient. This makes eye donation more accessible, allowing more people to contribute to this life-changing cause. In fact, more individuals qualify to be eye donors than any other type of transplant donor. Even if the eye tissue cannot be used for a transplant, with consent, it can still serve vital purposes in medical education and research.

One of the common misconceptions about eye donation is that individuals who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, or those who have had previous eye surgeries, cannot donate. This is not true. Even if someone has poor eyesight, their healthy cornea tissue can still provide improved vision to someone else. Additionally, having cancer does not automatically disqualify a person from being an eye donor.

The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank conducts extensive screening of donor tissue to ensure it is safe and suitable for transplant. This rigorous process guarantees that the tissue provided to recipients meets high safety standards.

Each donor has the potential to make a significant impact. One eye, organ, and tissue donor can restore sight to two people, save eight lives, and help up to 75 individuals through tissue donation. Furthermore, donations used for research are invaluable in advancing treatments for eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and other retinal diseases.  This research can help untold numbers of other people.

Eye donation is a generous act that can transform lives, offering the gift of sight and contributing to the advancement of medical research. If you meet the age criteria and are considering becoming a donor, your decision could make a profound difference in the lives of many.

You can register your decision to be a donor online or when renewing your drive license. We also encourage you to discuss your decision with your family.
Go Back