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

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Epiretinal Membrane Surgery
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Intravitreal Injections For Retinal Disease
  • Laser For Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Laser Retinal Surgery
  • Laser Treatment Of Retinal Disease
  • Lens-sparing Vitrectomy
  • Macular Degeneration Evaluations
  • Management Of Age Related Macular Degeneration (Amd)
  • Microincision Vitrectomy Surgery
  • Ophthalmic Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Optical Coherence Tomography
  • Outpatient Consultation For Diseases Of The Retina
  • Pars Plana Vitrectomy
  • Scleral Buckle
  • Surgical And Medical Treatment Of The Retina
  • Sutureless (Small Gauge) Retinal Surgery
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery
View all 19 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Acquired Vitreoretinal Diseases
  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Cystoid Macular Edema
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Diseases of the Retina
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Infectious Diseases of the Retina
  • Lens Dislocation
  • Macular Hole
  • Macular Pucker
  • Ocular Injuries
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Retinal Disorders
  • Retinal Hemangioma
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion
  • Traumatic Retinal Detachment
View all 16 Specialties +


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About Justis P. Ehlers, MD

Justis P. Ehlers, MD, is the Norman C. and Donna L. Harbert Endowed Chair of Ophthalmic Research and the Director of the Tony and Leona Campane Center for Excellence in Image-Guided Surgery and Advanced Imaging Research at the Cole Eye Institute.  

He 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 served as the principal investigator on numerous clinical trials including studies on macular degeneration, vitreoretinal interface abnormalities, retinal venous occlusive disease, and ophthalmic imaging.   He has directed one of the largest prospective intraoperative OCT studies to date.

Dr. Ehlers has a particular interest in advanced vitreoretinal imaging, including novel approaches for image biomarker discovery and applying imaging to surgery through intraoperative optical coherence tomography (OCT).  He leads a dynamic multi-disciplinary research team, including data scientists, computer scientists, engineers, research physicians, and other research personnel .

Dr. Ehlers is a major contributor to the medical literature having authored more than 180 peer-reviewed articles, numerous book reports, and over 200 scientific abstracts.   He has also been the co-chief editor for 3 books, including  the Wills Eye Manual, 5th Edition, one of the best-selling texts in ophthalmology.  He has received multiple NIH grants to support these research endeavors.

He serves on the American Academy of Ophthalmology Council and the American Society of Retina Specialists Board of Directors.   His work has been recognized through multiple awards, including the Top 40 Under 40 Award, the AAO Senior Achievement Award, the ASRS Senior Honor Award, the AAO Secretariat Award, and multiple Cleveland Clinic Innovation Awards.

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

Additional Training

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 11/3/2021, 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:

  • Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc.
  • Stealth BioTherapeutics Incorporated
  • Allergan, Inc
  • Roche (Hoffman-La Roche, Ltd.)
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Alcon, Inc.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC

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

445 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

51 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jul 21, 2022

Very good overall experience! Dr. Ehlers is not only knowledgeable, but also has excellent communicative skills. Heartily recommend him!

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2022

Dr Ehlers is an outstanding Specialist in retinal care.

Reviewed on Jul 7, 2022

Dr. Ehlers is awesome!

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2022

Dr Ehler has given me my vision back! I'm so greatful for his care and attention. He always takes time to explain and answer my questions with care and concern.

Reviewed on Jun 2, 2022

Dr. Ehlers is amazing! A skilled doctor who is also a good listener, explains things clearly, and is courteous and kind.

Reviewed on May 19, 2022

Would Recommend Dr Ehlers he's the best!

Reviewed on May 17, 2022

Dr. Ehlers was recommended to me by my eye surgeon at Johns Hopkins. He's an excellent doctor who I would recommend to anyone needing a retina consultation.

Reviewed on May 17, 2022

Dr. Ehlers is a consummate professional!

Reviewed on May 12, 2022

Dr.Ehler and Jamie his nurse are 2 special people. Always explains all of your options.

Reviewed on May 10, 2022

I had a pleasant experience with Dr Ehlers.

Reviewed on May 3, 2022

Dr. Ehlers is the reason that my eyesight is extraordinary compared to when I first met him almost twelve years ago after being told that there was nothing that could be done. He has been with me every step of the way,-very clear in information, encouraging me to consider decisions, putting so much more beyond his brilliance into my appointments. The difference--one knows that he 'truly' shows such caring for the patient while maintaining his professional stature. I have praised him and encouraged any friend with eye problems to seek him out. His assistant, Jamie is excellent as well --in addition that any of the staff under his supervision.

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2022

The doctor explained my progress and was clear on what to expect

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2022

Dr.Ehlers saved my eye sight so that would say it all

Reviewed on Apr 12, 2022

The care provider is the best I I have ever had. He is phenomenal.

Reviewed on Apr 12, 2022

Doctor Elhers is very caring of his patients

Reviewed on Mar 3, 2022

I've always had a good experience when I see Dr Ehlers. He discusses issues with you and takes time to listen to your concerns.

Reviewed on Mar 1, 2022

Dr.always positive and encouraging.

Reviewed on Feb 24, 2022

Dr. Ehlers listens to my concerns and throughly explains our plan of treatment. I would recommend him to anyone needing care.

Reviewed on Feb 10, 2022

The doctors were very professional and answered my questions

Reviewed on Feb 8, 2022

Dr. Ehler made sure I received the best treatment I needed for my condition and nothing less

Reviewed on Feb 3, 2022

Dr. Ehlers is only available on Thursdays at Hillcrest which limits appointment spots. Everyone tries their best on this issue.

Reviewed on Feb 1, 2022

Dr. Ehlers was EXTREMELY courteous- I truly appreciated how he listened to my questions and spent time answering them. I was pleased with the honest information and options offered.

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2022

Dr Ehlers is the ultimate in patient relations, caring, takes the time.

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2022

Feel very comfortable in Dr Ehler's care,

Reviewed on Jan 11, 2022

Dr. Ehlers is excellent. I was referred to him by my eye surgeon at Johns Hopkins.

Reviewed on Jan 11, 2022

I find that Dr. Ehlers and his staff are very kind and caring. Thank you!

Reviewed on Dec 16, 2021

The nurses and the Doc were polite, made me at ease.

Reviewed on Dec 14, 2021

DR Ehlers and his staff are top notch.

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

I am very thankful for Dr. Ehlers and his team.

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

Dr. Ehlers is very professional and answers all my questions with accuracy and ease. He is personable, asks me about other medical issues that may affect my vision. He is an asset to the Cleveland Clinic.

Reviewed on Dec 7, 2021

Dr. Ehlers is the ultimate professional. I cannot think of a single time when he was less than excellent in his review of my case of the resulting outcomes of treatment.

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2021

Dr. Justis has been treating my eyes for eleven years. I went to him after I had been misdiagnosed and was told that nothing could be done. I have had injections in one eye for eleven years and in the second eye for perhaps two years. My eyes have responded amazingly but I would have to say that Dr. Ehlers has been my guiding light. He is absolutely the best but beyond that he is the kindest and most compassionate doctor possible. I trust him. Completely to guide me and care for my condition in the most extraordinary manner. I have mentioned his name constantly so positively to anyone who asks about my condition. Dr. Ehlers's staff is absolutely the best as well in every way. Cleveland Clinic is lucky to have that entire group.

Reviewed on Dec 2, 2021

I have recommended Dr. Ehlers since my first visit eleven years ago. Everyone that I have dealt with both in his immediate staff to the employees at the check in desk===are excellent.

Reviewed on Nov 30, 2021

Physician is very caring and knowledgeable

Reviewed on Nov 2, 2021

Dr. Ehlers is the best! So kind and also respectful, and obviously very good at what he does.

Reviewed on Oct 28, 2021

Dr. Ehlers saved my eyesight! He and his staff are wonderful.

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2021

I have recommended several family and friends to Dr. Ehlers. He takes the time to explain what's going on and answers all my questions in a way that is easy to understand. He makes me feel like I'm his only patient as he is thorough and caring.

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2021

Doctor Ehlers is a great Doctor.I have always had a good experience when I am at the Clinic

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2021

Dr Ehlers is the man who keeps me mobile Without him and his staff I feel I would have lost my eyesight I am very grateful for the knowledge of him and his staff

Reviewed on Oct 5, 2021

Dr. Ehlers is exceptional.

Reviewed on Oct 5, 2021

De. Rulers is an amazing doctor. Very personable and listens to me. He saved my eyesight.

Reviewed on Sep 23, 2021

Everyone at this office is awesome! Reception is always a snap. I get in pretty quickly and a staff member prepares me for pics or tests, etc. The doctor is in pretty quickly, too. This is great for an office as busy as this one is.

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2021

Dr Ehlers excellent in his concern and response to questions

Reviewed on Sep 14, 2021

Dr. Ehlers and staff have always been wonderfully kind and caring.

Reviewed on Sep 14, 2021

He is a great doctor and his assistant is awesome.

Reviewed on Sep 9, 2021

Have had a very good experience in dealing with my eye. Can feel a very caring attitude from everyone, especially my doctor.

Reviewed on Aug 31, 2021

Always a pleasure to see dr. Ehlers.

Reviewed on Aug 24, 2021

The doctor is always very kind and courteous!

Reviewed on Aug 17, 2021

Per my Opthomologist I needed to specifically see Dr. Ehlers due to my diagnosis within a month.My first attempt getting an appointment was VERY difficult in that the scheduler asked for my diagnosis and about symptoms. When I said yes to the pain question she somewhat insisted I been seen in the ER. She then told me there were no appointments available for Dr. Ehlers within the next month. I contacted my Opthomologist and recalled the Cole Eye Center appointment line and got an appointment with Dr. Ehlers within the month time frame.I was quite disgusted with the aggravation per the first registrant

Reviewed on Aug 17, 2021

I could tell Dr. Ehlers was genuinely listening to my eye concerns. I was glad to obtain my next appointment while at that one.

Reviewed on Aug 5, 2021

Excellent specialist- extremely knowledgeable and thorough- I would highly recommend Dr. Ehlers

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