The cornea is the clear part at the front of the eye, covering the pupil and iris. The cornea helps to focus light, and a clear, healthy cornea is essential for good vision. If the cornea is damaged or becomes swollen or scarred, it may lose its clarity or smoothness, scattering or distorting the light and leading to blurred vision.
Ophthalmologists perform over 40,000 cornea transplants – sometimes called keratoplasty – each year in the US – it is the most common and most successful type of surgery done today. Looking through a microscope, the ophthalmologist measures the eye for transplant, carefully removes the injured cornea and sews the new donor cornea into place.
Transplant surgery would not be possible without the hundreds of thousands of generous donors and their families who have donated corneal tissue to enable others to see.