Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone can. The great thing about corneal tissue is that everyone is a universal donor. Your blood type does not have to match. It doesn’t matter how old you are, what color your eyes are or how good your eyesight is. Aside from those suffering from infections or a few highly communicable diseases such as HIV or viral hepatitis, most people are suitable donors.

When you apply for your Iowa driver's license at your local Iowa Department of Transportation office, you will be asked if you would like to register as a donor. If you check "yes" on your Iowa driver's license application form, you've given legal consent to donate your eye, organ and tissue after your death. You can also register online by visiting the Iowa Donor Registry website.

Yes. The cornea is the only part of the eye that is used for transplant so many common eye conditions do not prevent an individual from becoming a donor.

If the corneas are intended for transplant use, individuals between two and 75 years of age are eligible to donate. If the death occurs close to a research facility, donation may be possible for fetuses that have reached 30 weeks gestation and all other individuals for research purposes.  

No. Great care and respect is taken by the recovery technician to preserve the donor’s appearance. Families may proceed with funeral arrangements as scheduled, including an open casket viewing.

Research efforts develop new and more effective prevention and treatment options for patients with blinding eye disease, as well as providing a deeper understanding of the progression of these disorders. Donated eye tissue, whether healthy or impaired, is needed to continue research of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, numerous inherited eye diseases, and retinal disorders.

Most religions support donation as an act of neighborly love and charity. Individuals are encouraged to discuss donation with their local clergy.