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Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Information for Patients

Get information on the eye and eye diseases from the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart

Eye Smart AAO

Additional Tutorials

Eye Donation

According to recent statistics, more than 47,000 corneal transplants are performed in America each year. Unfortunately, in recent years, there are over 1200 people per year in the U.S. who needed corneal transplants but, due to a lack of donors, were unable to receive them. We encourage patients to read more about eye banking and tissue donation. Becoming an eye and tissue donor is a wonderful way to give the gift of sight. Please click here to read more about eye donation.

For additional information and inspirational stories of how eye donation has helped to restore sight to patients, please read here.


Retinoblastoma is cancer of the eye. It is usually inherited (in an autosomal dominant fashion) and occurs in about 1 in 23,000 live births. The disease is not only a cause of childhood blindness, but can grow and spread (metastasize). One of the first signs of retinoblastoma is a white papillary reflex (leukocoria or white "cat’s eye"). Fortunately, leukocoria can be detected by a simple screening test with an ophthalmoscope done by the child’s pediatrician (see the related link at the American Academy of Pediatrics). Further evaluation and dilated examination of the eye by an ophthalmologist can lead to prompt treatment.

Health Care Professionals may find this case of retinoblastoma of interest on EyeRounds.

Vision Screening

For most children in Iowa and around the country, a first vision screening does not happen until starting school. Unfortunately, with many vision-threatening conditions, this is too late. The Iowa KidSight program helps provide FREE vision screening to children from 6 months-of-age through Kindergarten in all 99 counties in the state of Iowa. This program is supported by the collaborative efforts of Iowa Lions Clubs, the University of Iowa's Department of Ophthalmology, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Optometric Association, Whirlpool-Amana Division, and various individual donors. To learn more, go to

last updated: 10/22/2019