Department Ophthalmology
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Vitreoretinal Surgery
View all 1 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Acquired Vitreoretinal Diseases
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Cystoid Macular Edema
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Eye Injuries
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Macroglobulinemia
  • Macular Hole
  • Macular Pucker
  • Ocular Injuries
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion
View all 13 Specialties +


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About Justis P. Ehlers, MD

Justis P. Ehlers, MD, is a Staff physician on the vitreoretinal service of the Cole Eye Institute in the Department of Ophthalmology at Cleveland Clinic. He was appointed in 2010. Dr. Ehlers received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the University of Notre Dame. He completed his medical degree at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Following medical school, he did an internship at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and served as Chief Resident from 2004-2005. From the Wills Eye Institute, Dr. Ehlers then completed a vitreoretinal surgery and disease fellowship at the Duke Eye Institute in Durham, North Carolina.

Clinically, Dr. Ehlers specializes in the diagnosis and management of medical and surgical vitreoretinal diseases including: age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), retinal vascular occlusive disease, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, myopic degeneration, cystoid macular edema, ocular trauma, epiretinal membranes, vitreomacular traction syndrome, and macular holes.

Active in research, Dr. Ehlers has participated as a co-investigator on numerous clinical trials including studies on macular degeneration, vitreoretinal interface abnormalities, retinal venous occlusive disease, and ophthalmic imaging.

Dr. Ehlers has a particular interest in advanced vitreoretinal imaging, including intraoperative optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT is a non-contact imaging modality that provides high resolution cross-sectional and three-dimensional information of tissue architecture and microstructure. While working with Dr. Cynthia Toth at Duke University, Dr. Ehlers tested and optimized a prototype operating microscope integrated OCT system allowing for real-time OCT-based visualization of intraocular maneuvers. Intraoperative OCT allows for direct feedback of the surgeon regarding the impact of surgical maneuvers and the need or lack of need for additional intervention. Complementing the use of intraoperative OCT, Dr. Ehlers is currently developing novel OCT-friendly surgical instrumentation. Dr. Ehlers is a major contributor to the medical literature having authored more than 50 original reports, book chapters, electronic publications, and scientific abstracts. Additionally, Dr. Ehlers was the co-chief editor of the Wills Eye Manual, 5th Edition, one of the best-selling texts in ophthalmology. He currently serves as a scientific reviewer for numerous ophthalmic journals and has served as an associate editor of the journal, Retina. Dr. Ehlers serves on the American Academy of Ophthalmology COMPASS Retina Subspecialty committee and previously served as an American Academy of Ophthalmology congressional advocacy ambassador.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Duke University Medical Center
Vitreoretinal Surgery
Durham, NC USA

Residency - Wills Eye Hospital
Philadelphia, PA USA

Internship - Saint Luke's Hospital
Preliminary Medicine
Chesterfield, MO USA

Medical Education - Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO USA

Undergraduate - University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN USA

Professional Highlights

  • Co-chief Editor, Wills Eye Manual, 5th edition.
  • Heed Fellow and Ronald G. Michels Fellow, Duke Eye Center
  • Chief Resident, Wills Eye Institute
  • Associate Editor, Retina, 2009-2010.


  • Ophthalmology

Specialty Interests

Diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, retinal vein occlusions, macular holes, macular puckers and epiretinal membranes, eye injuries and ocular trauma, myopic degeneration, retinal artery occlusions, cystoid macular edema, histoplasmosis, choroidal neovascularization, retinal neovascularization, and other vitreoretinal diseases. Advanced vitreoretinal imaging, with particular interest in optical coherence tomography (OCT) and utilizing OCT in the operating room to improve our understanding of vitreoretinal surgical diseases and the ultrastructural impact of surgical maneuvers, to help guide surgical interventions and improve outcomes.

Awards & Honors

  • Ronald G. Michels Fellowship Award, 2009
  • Heed Fellowship Award, 2008
  • Shipman Award, 2008
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, 2003
  • Senior Merit Scholar, 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa, 2000

Innovations & Patents

  • Furthering the progress of the use of intraoperative optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the study of vitreoretinal surgical diseases and the impact of surgical manipulations on microstructural anatomy, such as with optic-pit related maculopathy.
  • Development of the use of OCT contrast agents for enhanced visualization of tissue interfaces for ophthalmic applications of OCT imaging, including the development of “functional OCT” for incisional integrity assessment.
  • Optimization and testing of OCT integration into the surgical microscope, allowing for real-time visualization of surgical maneuvers, characterization of intraocular instrumentations, and optimization of capturing OCT-visualized intraoperative motion.


  • American Society of Retina Specialists, 2008- present
  • Society of Heed Fellows, 2008- present
  • Wills Eye Hospital Society, 2008 - present
  • Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2006 - present
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2005 - present
  • American Medical Association, 2003 - present
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Justis P. Ehlers, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 9/3/2018, Dr. Ehlers has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Ehlers receives fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • Genentech, Inc
  • Alcon, Inc.
  • Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
  • Leica Microsystems GmbH
  • ThromboGenics NV
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Royalty Payments. Dr. Ehlers receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Bioptigen, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

394 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.9
Listens 5
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Knows Medical History 4.9
Time Spent with Patient 4.8
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.8

55 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jul 18, 2019

excellent doctor

Reviewed on Jul 11, 2019

Dr Ehler is the best. Thank you!

Reviewed on Jul 11, 2019

Dr. Ehlers and the Cole Eye Institute Staff are very professional.

Reviewed on Jul 11, 2019

Dr. Ehlers is the best. I feel confident in his care.

Reviewed on Jun 27, 2019

Very good experience with the doctor

Reviewed on Jun 25, 2019

I would and have recommended Dr. Ehlers and the Cole Ete Institute (Cleveland Clinic) o everyone I know and meet.

Reviewed on Jun 20, 2019

I'm so happy with my doctor. he's always there for me when I have vision problems.

Reviewed on Jun 6, 2019

Dr. Ehlers is always kind, thorough, shows me test results on-screen so that I can totally understand what is happening. I have and will continue to recommend him to friends.

Reviewed on Jun 4, 2019

Doctor is caring & obviously an expert. We have the utmost confidence in his care & opinion.

Reviewed on May 21, 2019

I hand picked Dr. Ehler. I read through his bio/research efforts on line and decided he would be the best to assess my condition. He is not only a brilliant man, but also has a wonderful "bedside" manner. He explained everything, step by step, why his assessment was different than my original physician, we carefully reviewed pictures of my eye, discussed options, risks, and a path forward. He answered all of my questions. I cited research by others. He is well aware of and well versed in current research and clinical practices in this field. I have al ready recommended him to friends and family.

Reviewed on May 21, 2019

I was grateful to be "worked into" Dr. Ehler's schedule. From my perspective, wait times are insignificant when I am seeing a world class physician. Any time spent is worth the wait.

Reviewed on May 9, 2019

I drive to the Cleveland Clinic from Columbus to see you guys and it's absolutely worth it! I'm a big fan of Dr. Ehlers and his team.

Reviewed on May 9, 2019

Dr Ehlers is excellent--very thorough and careful not to cause me discomfort (,my exams with a previous retina specialist were very painful but with Dr Ehlers there is no pain)

Reviewed on May 9, 2019

I recommend Dr Ehlers to anyone who has a retina problem. I believe he saved the sight in my eye.

Reviewed on May 7, 2019

I asked a lot of question as my condition changed Dr. Ehlers and everyone I was involved with were patient, informative and supportive .

Reviewed on May 2, 2019

Dr Ehlers has saved my eyesight He is the best. his staff is excellent appointment was excellent

Reviewed on May 2, 2019

I recommend Dr Ehlers and his staff to everyone

Reviewed on May 2, 2019

I believe that Dr Ehlers and staff are most concerned about sterile situation. most important

Reviewed on May 2, 2019

Appointments with Dr Ehlers and staff is always a knowledgeable and friendly experience.

Reviewed on Apr 30, 2019

Dr. Ehlets and Jamie Reese, his ass't, are among the top 4 or 5 cate providers we've ever had at the CCF. They are excellent in every way!!

Reviewed on Apr 30, 2019

Dr. Ehlers always answers all my questions regarding my condition, and always takes his time to explain what is going on.

Reviewed on Apr 18, 2019

I think Doctor Ehlers is an amazing Doctor. He is kind, attentive, knowledgeable, and I trust his advice as I know he is concerned with what is best for me. I would highly recommend him. His staff is really nice too!

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

Dr. Ehlers and his staff are wonderful! I have had excellent care every time I have been there!

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

I have and will continue to recommend Dr. Ehlers to friends and family.

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

Excellent physician and excellent care....

Reviewed on Apr 4, 2019

appointment scheduled for 11:00. Did not see Dr Ehlers until 1 pm.

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2019

All the staff at Cole Eye Clinic are professionals. Dr. Ehlers has been wonderful in my eye care.

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2019

All the confidence in the world for this provider.

Reviewed on Mar 28, 2019

Worth waiting a couple months to get an appt in Beachwood with a dr I have as much confidence in as Dr Ehlers.

Reviewed on Mar 28, 2019

Dr Ehlers is an excellent diagnostician as well as a very caring person.

Reviewed on Mar 28, 2019

All good in the office except for wait time. I believe the doctors are scheduled with more patients than they should have to see in a day.

Reviewed on Mar 26, 2019

I feel I address issues with the nurse that then does not get discussed with the care provider and in turn does not get addressed. I feel even though these are concerns, they are blown off. also I feel the provider is in and out and it's more about staying on schedule than taking that time with each individual.

Reviewed on Mar 14, 2019

The doctor himself does not spend as much time as he should listening to patients. I felt like I had to interject myself some in order to get my questions answered.

Reviewed on Mar 5, 2019

Dr Ehlers is the best eye doctor

Reviewed on Feb 28, 2019

He is the finest Dr. cares about

Reviewed on Feb 28, 2019

very long wait between technician check and doctor check. much longer than previous appointments.

Reviewed on Feb 28, 2019

great staff and physician

Reviewed on Feb 19, 2019

Dr. Ehlers is a great doctor. He always takes time to talk with you and answer your questions

Reviewed on Feb 7, 2019

Dr Ehlers and staff are awesome, grateful for each of them

Reviewed on Jan 29, 2019

Dr Ehlers was very knowledgeable and listened to my questions/concerns and was empathetic to my situation.

Reviewed on Jan 10, 2019

Dr. Ehlers is an outstanding physician. Puts my mind at ease. Good staff supporting him.

Reviewed on Dec 20, 2018

,Dr Ehlers saved my vision in my left eye. I am very grateful,

Reviewed on Dec 13, 2018

I think having to wait 2 hours to see this doctor every time I go is way too much

Reviewed on Nov 29, 2018

Dr. Ehler's team is extremely well organized and careful for patients' comfort and safety.

Reviewed on Nov 27, 2018

the provider talks to me as if I am the only patient he has when he is in the office with me at all times,he is wonderful.

Reviewed on Nov 8, 2018

Excellent experience dealing with Dr. Ehlers and the staff at Hillcrest!!!

Reviewed on Nov 6, 2018

It was an unusually busy day and Dr. Ehlers apologized for the delay

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2018

Very good service. Exelent staff and doctor.

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2018

Dr. Ehlers is unequivocally the best.

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2018

Dr. Ehlers is professional, courteous, competent, and knowledgeable. I have already recommended him to another person.

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2018

Excellent doctor..wish there were more like him. He listens.

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2018

This visit was for new blurry vision in my left eye. I was seen in the office only 2 hours after I called, and was treated with an eye injection of of avastin because the dry macular degeneration had converted to wet macular degeneration in my left eye. My vision cleared, and I am truly grateful to Dr. Ehlers and his staff for their prompt attention! They are angels!

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2018

Dr. Ehlers and his Fellow explained everything to me and answered all my questions.

Reviewed on Sep 25, 2018

Seen for unexpected emergency treatment, and I am extremely grateful to Dr. Ehlers and his staff.

Reviewed on Aug 30, 2018

Dr Ehlers is such an excellent doctor, he is worth waiting for.

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