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 9/29/2019, 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:

  • Aerpio Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Leica Microsystems GmbH
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Genentech, Inc
  • Alcon, Inc.
  • Oxurion NV
  • Allergan, Inc

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
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

47 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Aug 13, 2020

Dr. Ehlers always makes sure to that I ask any questions I might have and is very patient in his explanations.

Reviewed on Aug 13, 2020

Great doctors.I always recommend Cleveland Clinic.

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2020

Dr Ehlers was extremely knowledgable,caring, and explained everything in complete detail. Even though I was very apprehensive going into the appt., ( my husband is legally blind) I felt better walking out of the appt.

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

Never a problem getting into for a Main Campus eye appt. Charge Nurse/coordinator is Jamie Reese, RN who runs the rooms & staff like clock work. If there is a problem with scheduling, I just call her cole eye & ask to speak with her. She knows how the Dr schedules work !!

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

Dr Justin Ehlers & resident were concerned about left eye changes, recommended eye exam & new glasses. Showed MUCH concern about my vision changes.

Reviewed on Jul 2, 2020

My first visit with Dr. Ehlers. Very professional and friendly staff. Dr. Ehlers was also pro

Reviewed on Jun 25, 2020

very good experience all around. Dr Ehlers and all his staff were very helpful and answered my questions thoroughly.

Reviewed on Jun 25, 2020

Will definitely continue my follow-up with Dr Ehlers.

Reviewed on Jun 11, 2020

Dr. Ehlers is simply just the best!

Reviewed on Jun 9, 2020

I have recommend Dr Ehlers to a friend who has a similar condition to mine.

Reviewed on Jun 4, 2020

I've been seeing Dr. Ehlers and his staff for several years, usually at main campus. This appointment was friendly, efficient and effective.

Reviewed on Jun 4, 2020


Reviewed on Jun 2, 2020

I would give Dr. Ehlers a 10 on everything as well as Jamie his asst.

Reviewed on May 26, 2020

I have been impressed with Dr. Ehlers. I feel as though he is really listening to what I'm saying about the issue with my vision.

Reviewed on May 26, 2020

Dr. Ehlers is the ultimate professional in his relationships with patient and caregivers attending patient.

Reviewed on May 12, 2020

Dr Ehlers has provided excellent care.

Reviewed on May 12, 2020

Will definitely recommend Dr Ehlers.

Reviewed on May 5, 2020

all is good I like everyone in doctor Elhers staff 2 thumbs up

Reviewed on Apr 30, 2020

Dr. Ehler is a caring physician.

Reviewed on Apr 30, 2020

I always feel that Dr. Ehlers & his staff are good listeners, & include me in decisions.

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2020

Dr. Ehlers listened to my concern about the procedure, made adjustments and the experience was much better than it has been in the past with less discomfort during and following the treatment

Reviewed on Apr 9, 2020

THIS. Dr AND. staff ARE A Cut. Above Any others

Reviewed on Mar 3, 2020

Very good Doctor and staff

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2020

Dr Ehlers and his staff are ver y helpful and kind. They explained everything and always make me feel comfortable.

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2020

All I can say about Dr Ahlers is he's amazing .

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2020

Awesome Staff,, Always Friendly Dr. Ehilers and Jamie love them 20 Stars

Reviewed on Feb 13, 2020

Dr Ehlers always answers all of my questions.

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2020

Dr. Ehlers is a fine physician in all respects and has always made me feel as if my treatment is a cooperative venture that we always discuss thoroughly before proceeding. I hold both he and his assistant, Jamie in very high esteem.

Reviewed on Feb 4, 2020

Dr. Ehlers is always courteous, attentive and concerned about me. he is generous With his time and always patiently addresses any questions or concerns that I raised with him. I have always experienced him to be this way and every contact I have had with him in the past eight years since I started seeing him.

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

there is none Better than Dr Ehlers and. Sam SHE is the GREATEST. I HAVE the Greatest confodance in both

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2019

We live in Ashtabula County. There are several clinic that could take care of Mom's eyes that are closer. We choose to drive to Cleveland because Dr. Ehlers and his staff are so great and treat my Mom so good! They keep us informed of her progress and always go out of their way to make her comfortable. She has dementia and their patience with her is outstanding. Thank You for providing such great vision care!!!

Reviewed on Dec 10, 2019

Dr Ehlers is very helpful in explaining my health problems with my eyes. He explains everything to me in language I understand. his assistant is also very helpful. Great doctor and staff.

Reviewed on Dec 3, 2019

doctor was wonderful and staff really nice

Reviewed on Nov 19, 2019

I can?t say enough wonderful things about Dr. Ehlers, an amazing doctor, with wonderful bedside manners. I would recommend him to everyone.

Reviewed on Nov 19, 2019

Dr. Ehlers answered all my questions and concerns. He is a compassionate physician, always calm, reassuring, and never makes me feel rushed when I'm asking questions. I have recommended him to others needing a retina specialist. He's also given me information on prevention which is important.

Reviewed on Nov 14, 2019

excellent doctor and staff

Reviewed on Nov 14, 2019

Dr. Ehlers and the staff at the Cole Eye Center are excellent. I'm grateful to be their patient!

Reviewed on Nov 14, 2019

I'm very confident with Dr. Ehlers!

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2019

Dr. Ehlers has been my specialist since he diagnosed my condition. I cannot imagine a more wonderful physician--in his concern, kindness and most of all his skill. I tell everyone about my admiration for Dr. Ehlers and suggest him to anyone with concerns .

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2019

I continue to mention that Cole Eye is the best and Dr. Ehler's team is the best of the best. I shall always recommend him and Cole Eye to others.

Reviewed on Nov 12, 2019

Dr Ehlers is an excellent eye physician.

Reviewed on Nov 7, 2019

the entire staff is excellent and Dr Ehlers is the best!

Reviewed on Oct 22, 2019

Dr. Ehlers is a very knowledgable ophalmologist.

Reviewed on Oct 17, 2019

Very good experience. Dr. Ehlers and his attending nurse are friendly, professional and helpful.

Reviewed on Oct 8, 2019

Always a very good experience with all personnel at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Ehlers staff is very professional, considerate and capable .

Reviewed on Oct 8, 2019

I have recommended Dr. Ehlers and his staff to many Erieites .

Reviewed on Sep 26, 2019

Dr Ehlers is a very compassionate man. especially dealing with the sensitivity of my condition .

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