United States Department of Veterans Affairs
Optometry Internet Webpage

Optometry Research and Development

Research is a vital component of the VHA Optometry Service.   Through funded research grants that are provided by VA Research Service, the National Eye Institute of the National Institute of Health, and private sources,  many VA optometrists actively participate in low vision rehabilitation as well as basic research and multi-center clinical trials. The results of these research projects have resulted in improved ocular disease prevention and low vision rehabilitation outcomes for the rapidly increasing number of significantly visually impaired and legally blind Veterans. Age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts continue to be leading causes of preventable blindness in the United States.  

Photo collage of an eye, a presentation, a retina, and a slit lamp examination. 

Research can have many forms, functions and purposes within the VHA Optometry Service.

VA Optometry Research Priorities

  • Understand the Visual Requirements of Everyday Tasks            
  • Develop Effective Assistive Devices and Techniques to Maximize Residual Vision and/or Substitute for Visual Information            
  • Evaluate Currently Available New Technologies for Visual Rehabilitation Effectiveness, Human Design Factors and Mechanical Integrity to Assist VA Clinicians in Prescribing Decisions            
  • Evaluate the Efficacy, Effectiveness and Efficiency of Rehabilitation Programs for the Visually Impaired            
  • Develop Alternative Service Delivery Models Based Upon the Level of Function and Needs of Visually Impaired Veterans            
  • Ascertain the Prevalence and Incidence of Visual Impairment and Visual Disability Among Veterans and Identify Subpopulations at Heightened Risk for Visual Impairment and Disability            
  • Support Research Fellowships and Career Development Programs            
  • Attract Clinical Researchers with Outstanding Qualifications to the VA System            
  • Promote and Support Involvement of Clinicians in Research, Particularly as Members of Interdisciplinary Teams with Research Scientists

Photo collage of an OCT instrument, a scan of a retina, and a line graph. 

Technology is at the core of VHA Optometry research

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