De Villota required two operations at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge in the wake of the crash at Duxford Airfield in July, when the Spaniard ran into the tailgate of a stationary service vehicle following an installation run at the start of the straight-line test.
At a press conference in Madrid, during which a graphic computer reproduction of the skull damage suffered by the 32-year-old was displayed, De Villota revealed she had also lost her sense of taste and smell as a result of her injuries.
Despite spending almost a month in hospital following the crash, De Villota is scheduled for more surgery but is staying upbeat about her future, insisting she is ready to live her life at "100 per cent".
"One of the surgeons who had operated on me came up to me and said 'Maria, we saved your life. But we need to tell you you have lost your eye'," De Villota said in quotes reported by Autosport.
"In that moment, I asked the surgeon: 'Do you need both hands to operate?' and he said yes, and I said 'Well, I'm a Formula One driver and I need both eyes'.
"And I told the poor man that it (should have been) my decision (to remove the eye), as if the poor man had a choice.
"But then you realise it is something unprecedented, that you are feeling fine, and you realise that you see more than before.
"Because, before the accident I only saw Formula One, inside a car, competing.
"I didn't see what was really important in life. At that point I wasn't appreciating the biggest thing, which was the person who had saved me.
"So this eye has made me find the way again and I'm seeing it that way. And this new opportunity I'm going to live it at 100 per cent."
De Villota, who now wears an eye patch, remains unsure whether she has a future in car racing, but indicated in an interview with Spain's Hola magazine yesterday that she would turn some of her energy to improving safety at Formula One test sessions such as the one at Duxford.
"What I'm wondering now is if my future is being a racing driver or if there's something else I have to do with my life. I still don't know what I need to do," she told the magazine.
"We all want to see if there are lessons to learn from what happened, so we can avoid accidents like that in the future.
"My intention is to help with a view to the future, improve safety, especially in aero tests, because at the circuits everything is under control, but not in this kind of test."
De Villota also revealed that she was touched by the many messages of support she received from colleagues and fans in the wake of her accident.
"I felt deeply loved, highly respected by my colleagues and everybody in the world of motor sport," De Villota said.
"My new life goes beyond my dreams, because my dream was Formula One and I achieved it. I'm a driver, I feel like a driver."