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Clinical Trials

Every year, NEI leads or supports dozens of clinical trials and studies. Clinical studies — research studies that involve people — can help researchers learn more about eye problems. One type of study, called a clinical trial, help researchers try out new ways to test for and treat eye diseases.

Learn more about participating in clinical trials and studies

If you join a clinical trial, you could help improve care for countless people in the future. 

Find out about the different types of studies, the benefits and risks, and what to expect when you participate.

NEI Eye Clinic

The Eye Clinic

NEI’s Eye Clinic hosts many clinical trials on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Get directions, phone numbers, and other important information about the Eye Clinic.

Clinical study

Search for a clinical study to join

Before joining a clinical study, it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether the study is right for you.

  • To find out about clinical studies at NEI and other NIH institutes, visit the NIH Clinical Center website or call 1-800-411-1222. Most NIH studies take place in Bethesda, MD.
  • To search for clinical studies across the United States and around the world, visit

Refer a patient to a clinical study

If you are an optometrist or ophthalmologist interested in referring a patient to a clinical study at NEI, call the NEI Clinical Director’s Office at (301) 402-4726.

If there is an NEI investigator with the appropriate expertise, we can evaluate the patient to see if they qualify for an NIH clinical study. If the patient doesn’t qualify, NEI won’t be able to treat them.

Apply for funding to conduct a clinical study

Learn about funding opportunities at NEI and find out how to apply.

See the results of clinical studies

Learn about 2 of the major NEI clinical studies: the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) and the AREDS2 follow-up study. These studies showed that certain nutritional supplements can lower the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss.

See millions of journal articles published in more than 5,000 journals.

Last updated: September 29, 2021