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 School - 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:

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

341 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

33 Patient Comments

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.

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2018

Dr Ehlers is exceptional and really cares about his patients. I see him every 6 months and he always is genuinely concerned about my health.

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2018

Dr. Ehlers is an example of the best retina specialist possible. He is brilliant, knowledgeable, kind, respectful, and very thoughtful.

Reviewed on Jun 5, 2018

Dr. Ehlers is one of the best doctors I have ever had-genuinely concerned and a great clinician.

Reviewed on May 29, 2018

I see Dr Ehlers every 6 months to follow up on an eye problem that I have.

Reviewed on May 29, 2018

excellent care since I started seeing this provider,I will recommend him to my family and friends anytime they need him

Reviewed on May 15, 2018

Dr. Ehlers is always attentive, respectful and patient. He answers all my questions and is interested in my perspective and concerns about my situation. He spends as much time with me as necessary, and never acts as if he feels rushed, even though on the occasion of this visit the office appeared much busier than usual. His nurse, Jamie, is also always very nice, respectful and friendly.

Reviewed on May 15, 2018

Dr Ehlers is always professional , considerate, and willing to answer questions and concerns . I feel very comfortable seeing him and feel he is extremely knowledgeable . I feel fortunate that I have him as my doctor

Reviewed on May 1, 2018

Dr. Ehlers and his staff are always professional, courteous and knowledgeable

Reviewed on Apr 17, 2018

Dr. Ehlers is a wonderful, brilliant retina specialist and a very caring doctor. He takes time to listen to me and always explains his own thoughts and plans clearly and thoroughly.

Reviewed on Apr 5, 2018

Dr. Ehler was very professional and took the time to answer all questions. Very assuring manner.

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