Mayo Clinic's Department of Ophthalmology has internationally renowned eye physicians and surgeons who provide comprehensive care for people who seek answers about conditions and diseases of their eyes. Each year, doctors in the Mayo Clinic Department of Ophthalmology across all our sites provide more than 250,000 outpatient visits for eye care.

Mayo Clinic's eye specialists diagnose and treat hundreds of eye conditions, including many that are rare or complex. They offer a full range of eye care, from routine eye exams to surgery. They have special expertise in:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Corneal diseases and corneal transplant surgery
  • Cancer of the eye and surrounding tissues
  • Trauma of the eye, eyelid and eye socket
  • Inflammation of the eye and surrounding tissues
  • Retinal disease
  • Optic nerve disorders
  • Pediatric eye conditions
  • Strabismus

Mayo Clinic eye care experts also perform refractions, prescribe corrective lenses and offer refractive laser surgery, cosmetic eyelid surgery and contact lens services, including scleral lenses.

Why choose Mayo Clinic for eye care

Mayo Clinic specialists work closely with you and your health care team to understand and address your eye care needs. Many eye problems are related to other medical conditions, such as diabetes, immune system conditions and thyroid disease. At Mayo Clinic, your ophthalmology team collaborates with other specialists, such as endocrinologists, oncologists, neurologists and rheumatologists, to provide exactly the care you need based on what's right for you. Eye specialists at Mayo Clinic also offer resources that can complement a local physician's expertise.

Mayo Clinic Ophthalmology has many locations including Arizona, Florida and several sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

All Mayo Clinic locations provide ophthalmology and optometry services, ranging from routine medical screenings and treatments to complex surgery. Availability of services varies among Mayo Clinic locations. Please confirm when you contact Mayo Clinic.

Each of our main campuses also houses an optical store that offers a wide variety of eyeglasses, contact lenses and specialty products. Pediatric eye care is offered at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in the structure and function of the eye (ophthalmologists and optometrists) are experts in treating all types of vision and eye conditions. Many people come to Mayo Clinic when their condition is unusual or complex. You can make an appointment directly with us or with a referral from your primary care doctor, ophthalmologist or optometrist. (Some insurance companies require a referral.)

Mayo Clinic's eye experts work with a multidisciplinary team of specialists who collaborate to provide exactly the care you need.

Mayo Clinic treats the following conditions. Not all services are available at all locations, and children's eye services are available only at Mayo Clinic's campus in Minnesota. Please confirm when you call to request an appointment.

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

Find doctors and medical staff:

Mayo Clinic has one of the largest and most experienced practices in the United States, with campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Staff skilled in dozens of specialties work together to ensure quality care and successful recovery.

In Mayo Clinic's Department of Ophthalmology, care providers and scientists are dedicated to finding better options for people with vision impairments. Physician-scientists conduct a wide variety of research strategies across a spectrum of eye conditions to ensure patients have access to the latest, most-effective treatments available.

Eye specialists in the Department of Ophthalmology are involved at every level of research. In the lab, researchers detail the precise physiology of both normal eye functions and eye and vision diseases. They look at how cells function in each and how genes regulate them.

At the translational level, researchers seek to improve treatments, both surgical and nonsurgical. They do so by developing new drugs and analyzing best methods for surgical and transplant procedures.

When a promising treatment is ready to be introduced to the patient, Mayo Clinic researchers conduct clinical trials to measure the new treatment's effectiveness.

A key advantage of Mayo Clinic's ophthalmology research efforts is the scientist's access to vital infrastructure and specialists. For instance, ophthalmology researchers can work with biostatisticians and epidemiologists to leverage Mayo Clinic's extensive medical record-keeping system. Together, they can conduct comprehensive, retrospective studies to better understand the natural course of eye disease, the long-term outcomes of disease treatment and trends in the frequency of eye-related illness.

Other vital infrastructures include:

Through every stage of research, Mayo Clinic researchers work with colleagues and institutions throughout the country and the world.

The success of Mayo Clinic's ophthalmology research efforts have earned it decades-long funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as from the organization Research to Prevent Blindness and other private benefactors and foundations.

Research programs

Cornea Research Program

The Cornea Research Program examines diseases and treatments related to the cornea, including:

  • Cornea transplantation, a common procedure with a high success rate. Researchers examine its advantages and disadvantages compared to other treatments and who best benefits from the procedure.
  • Fuchs' dystrophy, a common inherited disease that affects the inner lining of the cornea (corneal endothelium) that is responsible for maintaining the cornea's clarity. Investigators are seeking to identify genes that contribute to Fuchs' dystrophy, which may, one day, lead to a gene therapy.
  • Laboratory cornea research is aimed at developing an effective way to freeze corneas, which would lead to true eye banking and an increase in available donor corneas.
  • Laser vision correction is a common elective surgery, though its potential long-term consequences are not yet fully understood. Mayo Clinic researchers began studying a small group of patients who had the most common types of refractive surgery — LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) — when the procedures were first introduced more than 20 years ago.
  • Optical function is evaluated by the Cornea and External Eye Disease Service of the Department of Ophthalmology-Research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The ability to see is the result of complex interactions involving all layers of the eye and the brain. The eye disease service explores how the cornea contributes to overall visual function.

Glaucoma Research Program

The Glaucoma Research Program seeks to:

  • Understand the unique functions of the normal eye
  • Determine the changes associated with normal and elevated intraocular pressure
  • Learn the natural history of this blinding disease
  • Develop and assess existing and new therapies to treat glaucoma

Research focuses on understanding why intraocular pressure is higher in patients with glaucoma, why intraocular pressure variations occur in people with and without glaucoma, new surgical procedures to reduce intraocular pressure, and the effectiveness of long-term treatments.

Low Vision Research Program

The Low Vision Research Program seeks to improve the quality of life for patients with visual impairments by applying a variety of techniques and technologies to help people use their remaining vision. The goal is for people with impaired vision to lead independent, productive lives.

The program examines how vision rehabilitation services affect quality of life, and researchers seek to develop methods to better assess the measured gains in visual function. Results of this work help determine which treatment strategies work the best and which structured rehabilitation programs are most effective for individual patients.

For a deeper look into all of Mayo Clinic Ophthalmology research activities, visit the Department of Ophthalmology-Research page.

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.