Why is eye tissue needed?
Blindness is a terrible affliction confining sufferers to a dark and often painful world. By becoming an eye tissue donor, you can enable sufferers of sight-limiting diseases to have their vision restored.
The donation of eye tissue is a very valuable gift. Both the cornea (the clear window at the front of the eye) and the sclera (the white of the eye) can be replaced from donated tissue. At least two, and up to four people can be helped by a single eye tissue donor.
Can I become an eye tissue donor?
Almost anyone can become an eye tissue donor. People up to 90 years old can become eye tissue donors. Most people who die from cancer are able to donate eye tissue. Wearing glasses or contacts does not stop a patient from donating as glasses and contact lenses are worn to correct other problems with a person’s eye sight. Similarly a person who has had cataracts or cataracts removed can also donate eye tissue.
In the few cases where eye tissue cannot directly be used for transplantation, and where consent has been gained, the tissue can still help restore sight to others by being used for vital research into sight-threatening diseases.
How can I become an eye tissue donor?
If you want to donate your eye tissue, it is vitally important that you tell your family of your wishes to donate.
Once you have told your family and friends formalise your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
When can I become an eye tissue donor?
You can only become an eye tissue donor following your death.
It is not possible for the Queensland Eye Bank to record your intention to donate eye tissue now. The most important move you can make now is to inform your family of your decision.
What will happen when I donate my eye tissue?
Donating your eyes or a loved one’s eyes:
- may give at least two people the chance to see
- will not alter the appearance of the donor - we take great care to ensure this
- will not cause any delay in funeral or memorial services
- will not entail any cost to the donor family
- may offer comfort to the donor’s grieving family
- will not mean any loss of confidentiality.
Queensland Eye Bank
Organ and Tissue Donation Service, Division of Chief Health Office
Princess Alexandra Hospital
Woolloongabba Qld 4102
Phone: (07) 3176 2104