Eye banks are organizations that distribute corneal tissue taken from deceased persons for eye grafts. Blindness caused by cloudiness or scarring of the cornea can sometimes be cured by surgical removal of the affected portion of the corneal tissue.
With present techniques, such tissue can be kept alive for only 48 hours, but current experiments in preserving human corneas by freezing give hope of extending its useful life for months. Eye banks also preserve and distribute vitreous humor, the liquid within the larger chamber of the eye, for use in treatment of detached retinas. The first eye bank was opened in New York City in 1945. The Eye-Bank Association of America, in Rochester, New York, acts as a clearinghouse for information.