Since we founded UCLA Health ophthalmology, our team has consistently ranked among the best in the country.

Women at eye exam
A nurse with warm smile is holding a hand of young girl patient while her guardian is in the background.

Why choose UCLA Health for ophthalmology?

The ophthalmology services and program at the UCLA Health Stein Eye Institute is among the highest-rated of its kind in the country. Since U.S. News & World Report began its hospital rankings in 1990, we have been among the top five eye care centers in the country and the best in the western United States.

The UCLA Stein Eye Institute was established in 1966 by Jules Stein, MD, and Bradley Straatsma, MD, JD, founding chairman of our Department of Ophthalmology. When you choose UCLA Health for eye care, you benefit from:

Comprehensive programs: We offer a full range of ophthalmology services through the Stein Eye Institute and Doheny Eye Centers. Our goal is to prevent blindness through patient care programs, vision research, training and outreach. We offer a wide range of subspecialty programs so that all patients have access to the targeted care they need.

Research-driven treatments: Our team has been key in multiple eye care milestones. For example, we performed the first stem cell-derived transplant of retinal cells (cells that help you see) to treat legally blind patients. Patients in our program continue to have access to leading-edge, research-based treatment options.

Recognized expertise: Our opthalmologists are excellent at patient care and research and have achieved recognition for their expertise. For example, nearly two dozen of our clinicians rank each year among Los Angeles Magazine’s “Top Doctors.”

Our areas of care

Many of our specialists research and implement new treatments for most eye conditions. Experts conduct robust research and deliver the latest treatments at these academic centers:

Aesthetic Center

Experts treat patients who want to enhance their appearance through surgery. For example, treatment might involve eyelid reshaping, fat transfer or liposuction to alter a person’s facial features. Patients who want aesthetic surgery receive care from specialists trained in both ophthalmic and plastic surgery.

Center for Community Outreach and Policy

UCLA Health ophthalmology conducts research in public health ophthalmology and provide high-impact, community-based services. For example, our Mobile Eye Clinic improves access to care in underserved communities.

Center for Eye Epidemiology

Specialists use a team approach to research blinding diseases. Private donations, including an endowment established by the Ahmanson Foundation, fund this research center, established in 1997.

Clinical Research Center

We provide core support for studies that include patient care. Every clinical trial and study involves vital, behind-the-scenes details that enable us to continue this research. At present, we are conducting almost 80 clinical research studies to help us better understand eye disorders and treatments.

Diabetic Eye Disease and Retinal Vascular Center

Our ophthalmologists specialize in treating patients with diabetes-related eye conditions. Established more than a decade ago, the center has contributed significantly both to the understanding and the care of eye diseases in people with diabetes.

Laser Refractive Center

Specialists provide ultramodern vision correction treatments. We were one of a limited number of study sites in the United States that participated in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clinical trial of excimer laser technology. We also were the first site in Los Angeles to use FDA-approved laser treatment to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism (imperfect eye curvature).

Macular Disease Center

Our team offers high-quality care and rehabilitation and promotes collaborative research for macular degeneration (an eye disease that causes vision loss). Patients in this program, established in 1994, often have access to new treatments through clinical trials. 

Mobile Eye Clinic

For more than 40 years, we’ve provided eye exams and screenings in neighborhoods where poverty and vision disabilities intersect. This 39-foot-long bus is outfitted with equipment for eye exams and supported by charitable donations. Each year, we provide eye care to more than 20,000 underserved adults and children in Southern California.  

Ocular Inflammatory Disease Center

We established this center in 1985 to coordinate research, education and patient care of inflammatory eye disorders. Inflammatory diseases include those that cause eye swelling and destroy tissue. We have a long history of participating in clinical and drug therapy trials that advance our understanding of these diseases.

Ophthalmic Oncology Center

Specialists have renowned expertise in teaching, research and clinical management of tumors. Our program has achieved international recognition for the diagnosis and treatment of ocular melanoma (cancer of the eye).

We serve as a hub for national, long-term studies that investigate eye cancer. We also played an important role in the Collaborative Ocular Melanoma Study, a significant research initiative sponsored by the National Eye Institute.

Optic Neuropathy Center

Experts treat conditions that affect the optic nerve. Your optic nerves carry images from your eyes to your brain so you can see. If you have an optic nerve condition, your treatment might involve the expertise of ophthalmologists, orbital surgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists or neurosurgeons.

Orbital Disease Center

We study and treat orbital (bony eye socket) diseases brought on by trauma, cancer, inflammation or infection. Our multidisciplinary collaboration offers patients a level of knowledge and expertise not found elsewhere in Southern California. We also have an active program in thyroid eye diseases, through which we study eye conditions that also affect your endocrine system.

Vision Genetics Center

We address the full spectrum of hereditary eye disorders (disorders you inherit from your parents). We offer diagnosis and treatment, as well as genetic counseling or DNA testing when appropriate.

Specialists in the Vision Genetics Center, established in 1978, collaborate with genetic research groups around the world. Our efforts ensure that patients have access to the most advanced treatments and clinical trials.  

Vision Rehabilitation Center

Our team provides rehabilitation services to help people with low vision maximize their function and improve their quality of life. We tailor the treatment plan to a patient’s individual goals and can help anyone who has difficulty with visual tasks, such as reading.

We also conduct research studies and pioneer novel ways to help people with vision loss. For example, we developed a system that uses rehabilitation delivered virtually to increase access to care. The approach involves video conferencing with a doctor. Now, we are part of a national, multicenter trial to evaluate how this new approach can improve reading ability.

Eye conditions we treat

Our specialists are experts in diagnosis, treatment and management of all conditions that affect the eyes, including pediatric vision concerns. Common conditions we treat include:

Astigmatism: An imperfect curving of your eye that causes blurry vision.

Blepharitis: Eyelid inflammation that can lead to dry eyes, redness or swelling.

Cataracts: When proteins build up in your eye and cause cloudy or fuzzy vision.

Conjunctivitis (pinkeye): Inflammation or infection in your eye that causes itching, redness and crusting around the eye.

Glaucoma: Conditions that damage your optic nerve (nerve that carries images to your brain), often caused by a buildup of pressure in your eye.

Macular degeneration: Deterioration of your retina (the back part of your eye that interprets and sends images to your brain).

Myopia (nearsightedness): A common vision condition in which you can focus on close objects but not on objects that are far away.

Treatments ophthalmologists offer

Our goal is to find the best, most effective treatment options for eye conditions. We provide a range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments.

Nonsurgical treatments

Our specialists care for both routine and complex eye conditions. Nonsurgical treatments we offer include:

Anti-glare glasses: Devices designed to improve vision while reducing eye strain.

Artificial tears: Eyedrops that improve lubrication and moisture on your eye’s surface.

Contact lenses: Thin devices placed directly over your eye’s surface to improve vision.

Eye drops: Drops that contain saline and medication such as steroids or antihistamines.

Eye patches: A device made of cloth, plastic or an adhesive bandage that covers the eye.

Warm compresses for your eyes: Applying a clean, warm cloth over your eyes to relieve swelling, pain or inflammation.

Surgical treatments

We offer research-based, advanced surgical treatments for a range of eye conditions. Common surgeries include:

Blepharoplasty: Plastic surgery to change the appearance of your eyelids, often by correcting droopiness. 

Corneal transplant: Repairing your cornea (transparent tissue that covers your eye) with donor tissue. 

Orbital decompression: Removing fat or bone from behind the eye so that your eye sits back further in its socket.

Photodynamic therapy: Combining light energy with specific drugs to destroy precancerous or cancerous cells.

Pneumatic retinopexy: Injecting your eye with a small air bubble to push the retina in place while your surgeon repairs retinal tears. 

Strabismus surgery: Surgically loosening or tightening eye muscles to correct irregular eye alignment (crossed eyes).

Vitrectomy: Removing fluid from the eye to treat problems with the retina or vitreous humor (the gel-like tissue that fills your eyeball).

Our expert team

The specialists on our ophthalmology team have led the way in the research and clinical care of eye conditions. We use the latest techniques and have pioneered advanced treatment options.

Contact us

Call 310-825-5000 to request an appointment with an eye specialist at UCLA Health.

Find your care

Our ophthalmology team offers the most advanced treatments for all types of eye conditions. To find out more, please call your provider.

Best Hospital Ranking - Ophthalmology