The goal of the department – to provide qualified and high-quality ophthalmic personal healthcare services that meet international standards and ensure leadership in Lithuania, to carry out and improve ophthalmology studies, to develop scientific activities, interdisciplinary cooperation with scientists from other departments and universities, to ensure the improvement of the qualifications of the department’s medical staff.

Tasks of the Department of Ophtalmology:

  • To develop modern and socially responsible assistance to patients with eye diseases and to ensure the highest level of assistance in the most complex clinical situations;
  • To develop and implement innovative diagnostic and treatment methods for eye diseases;
  • To create a comfortable, modern environment adapted to the blind and partially sighted and large patient flows in the Department of Ophthalmology, which would also improve the working conditions of the staff;
  • To effectively use available human resources and material resources;
  • To educate ambitious and constantly improving healthcare specialists, develop scientific activities in cooperation with researchers from other departments and universities;
  • To improve the activities of the Centre for Rare Eye Diseases.


The Eye Clinic was founded in 1923 on the initiative of Professor Petras Avižonis. The clinic was headed by Professor P. Avižonis until 1939. After his death, the clinic was taken over by the Professor’s son V. Avižonis (1939–1944). In the post-war years, the Clinic of Eye Diseases (until 1958) was headed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. J. Nemeikša. Until 1976 the clinic has gone through many changes, the location of the clinic has also changed several times. By the efforts of Prof. Dr. E. Daktaravičienė and her colleagues (Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Valentinienė, Dr. L. Matukonienie) in 1976 a new building of the Eye Diseases Clinic was built. The Department of Eye Diseases was supervised by the staff of the department (Prof. Dr.  A. Blužienė, Assoc. Prof. Dr. M. Tornau, Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Valentinienė, Assoc. Prof. Dr. I. Vaškelienė). Prof.  E. Daktaravičienė played a special role in the activities of the department (she headed the clinic 1958-1989), created an excellent clinical base for her time and trained a whole generation of ophthalmologists. In 1970 the Vision Protection Laboratory (RAL) was established. Since 1992 the Vision Protection Laboratory (RAL) was reorganised into two laboratories – Vision Rehabilitation Laboratory (Head Prof. Dr. E. Daktaravičienė) and Ophthalmology (BMTI) (Head Prof. Habil. Dr. A. Paunksnis). The latter in 2011 was reorganised into the Laboratory of Ophthalmology of the Institute of Neurosciences (Head Assoc. Prof. Dr. V. Barzdžiukas, since 2015 – Prof. Dr. R. Liutkevičienė). KMU Department of Ophthalmology was established in 1991, following the merger of the former KMA Department of Ophthalmology , RAL and Kaunas Clinics’ inpatient and polyclinic Ophthalmology Departments. In1989-2017 the Department of Ophthalmology headed by Prof. Habil. Dr. V. Jašinskas, from 2017 – Prof. Dr. R. Žemaitienė.

 The Department of Ophthalmology is the main training base for ophthalmology residents and researchers in Lithuania, the largest institution for the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases in Lithuania.

Structural units of the department

  • Consultative Diagnostic Department of Eye Diseases
  • Department of Children’s Eye Diseases
  • Ophthalmology Day Surgery Department
  • Inpatient Department of Adult Eye Diseases

On 25 September 2015, the Centre for Rare Eye Diseases was established, and in 2017, Kaunas clinics joined the European Reference Network in the field of eye diseases (ERN-EYE network). A. Gelžinis)

In order to deepen specific knowledge, to implement innovation in the clinic, clinical sectors have been established:

  • Cataract, glaucoma and laser surgeries
  • Vitreoretinal surgeries
  • Corneal diseases and uveitis
  • Eye oncology, reconstructive and plastic surgery
  • Strabismus and neuro-ophthalmology
  • Retinal diseases

About 70,000 patients, 10,000 of whom are children, are consulted in the consulting diagnostic department for eye diseases, over 11,000 patients are treated in inpatient departments, over 21,000 surgical interventions are performed (cataract, glaucoma, eyelid malignant and benign tumour surgeries, brachytherapy, intraocular tumour treatment with Gamma knife , operations in case of eye injuries, vitreoretinal operations, strabismus, keratoplasty, keratoprosthetics, drug injections into the vitreous body, etc.). The Department is the only one in Lithuania that performs intraocular surgeries for children. The Department operates and treats patients with the most complex eye diseases from all over Lithuania and provides assistance to patients with oncological and rare eye diseases.

The Department of Ophthalmology is the educational base of LSMU, where the study process of all levels (integrated, non-degree (residency), third cycle (doctoral) studies), professional doctors’ qualification improvement takes place.

Study programmes Medicine, Medicine for International Students

Since 2022 Ophthalmology is part of the module “Fundamentals of diseases of the eyes, ears, nose, throat and face and jaws”, which is taught to medical students in the sixth year in Lithuanian and English. The duration of the module is 2 weeks, 60 hours. Sixth-year students of the Faculty of Medicine can improve their knowledge in ophthalmology by participating in the elective cycle (in Lithuanian and English, 4 credits, 107 hours) and by choosing the final master’s thesis (3 credits, 90 hours, for Lithuanian students and international students).

Residency programs

Residency in eye diseases lasts 3 years (198 credits). The programme was prepared in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania, the European Parliament and Council Directive 2005/36/EC, EBO (European Board of Ophthalmology), recommendations of the European Council of Ophthalmologists (Principles and Guidelines of a Curriculum for Education of the Ophthalmic Specialist Presented by International Task Force on Resident and Specialist Education Ophthalmology Nov. 2006, Page S1-S48, Vol. 223) and the requirements of the European Union of Medical Specialists for preparing an ophthalmologist.

The Department of Ophthalmology of Kaunas Clinics was the first in the Baltic States to be accredited by the European Council of Ophthalmologists in 2010, and the accreditation was renewed in 2017. Currently, 34 residents, study and work at the department.

Residency study programme “Ophthalmology” 733A30076

  • Permanent 3-year study programme, 198 credits
  • Study year I, 66 credits
  • Ophthalmological Research Methods, 18 credits
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology, 12 credits
  • Inflammatory Pathology of the Anterior Segment of the Eye, 24 credits
  • Eye Injuries, 12 credits.
  • Study year II, 66 credits
  • Non-inflammatory Pathology of the Anterior Segment of the Eye, 42 credits
  • Glaucoma, 24 credits
  • Study year III, 66 credits
  • Diseases of the Eye Socket, Ophthalmo-Oncology, Oculoplastics, 6 credits
  • Pathology of the Posterior Segment of the Eye, 36 credits
  • Paediatric Ophthalmology, 12 credits
  • Neuro-ophthalmology, 6 credits
  • Elective cycles, 6 credits
  • The Use of Laser Diagnostic Technologies in the Diagnosis of Optic Nerve Changes
  • Visual Diagnostics of Retinal Diseases in Acute Ophthalmology
  • Simulated Cataract Microsurgery for Beginners Eyesi Surgical.

Residents of other specialities acquire knowledge of ophthalmology in the following modules

  • 733A30075 Family medicine residency study programme “Eye diseases” (6 credits)
  • 733A300A7 Emergency medicine residency study programme “Emergency Ophthalmological Care” (6 credits)
  • 733A30055 Allergology and clinical immunology residency study programme “Allergic Eye Lesions” (6 credits)
  • 733A30093 Paediatrics residency study programme “Cycle of Children’s Eye Diseases” (6 credits).

Improving the professional qualifications of doctors

The Department of Ophthalmology conducts training courses for ophthalmologists, general practitioners, endocrinologists, and optometrists:

  • KMU890 Pars plana vitrectomy surgical skills training. Eyesi Surgical
  • KMU889 Advanced Simulated Cataract Microsurgery Eyesi Surgical
  • KMU888 Simulated Cataract Microsurgery for Beginners Eyesi Surgical
  • KMU853 Eye Diseases in Geriatrics
  • KMU840 Common Eye Diseases
  • KMU839 Visual Functions and Their Disorders
  • KMU751 Eye Injuries
  • KMU712 Retinal Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Novelties
  • KMU696 Ultrasound Examinations of the Eye and Eye Socket
  • KMU637 Diseases of the Cornea and Uveal Tract
  • KMU636 Non-infectious Eye Diseases in the Elderly
  • KMU551 Modern Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma
  • KMU005 Graves’ Ophthalmopathies
  • KMU004 Features of Diagnosis and Treatment of Glaucoma in Children and Adults
  • KMU001 Inflammations of the Eye Socket

Since 2000 30 theses have been defended at the clinic, 11 doctoral students are currently studying for a doctorate degree.

Over the course of 5 years, the staff of the Department of Ophthalmology published 439 scientific articles, 83 of which were published in the Clarivate Analytics Journal Citation Reports list with a citation index, prepared and printed 13 books, including 5 textbooks.

Main directions of scientific activity:

  • Eye Health Technologies
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Epidemiological Studies

Main Research Areas:

Investigation of new clinical manifestations, biological markers, diagnostic methods, preventive and prognostic factors of diseases of the surface of the eye, cornea, lens ( cataract) and evaluation of the effectiveness of new treatment methods;

Associations of age-related macular degeneration (AMDD) and retinopathies with acute and chronic ischemic heart and brain syndromes and the search for new microbiome, metabolic and cytogenetic markers;

Risk factors for the development and progression of glaucomatous optic neuropathy and their associations with neurodegenerative diseases;

Prevention of childhood eye diseases and the links with functional and morphological changes in the eye, epidemiological, genetic and clinical studies;

Epidemiological and clinical studies on the prevention, care, correction and improvement of quality of life of blindness and poor vision;

Development and application of artificial intelligence in clinical practice (AGDD, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma).


Ongoing projects:

  • 2021-2024 “A Holistic Mixed-methods Approach to Capture the Real Life of Children With Rare Eye Diseases (SeeMyLife)”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. R. Žemaitienė, executors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. A. Gelžinis, Dr. A. Kručaitė.
  • 2021-2024 “Integrated Development of a Personalised Diabetic Retinopathy Screening and Monitoring Model Using Automated Fundus Image Analysis and Artificial Intelligence Risk Prediction Algorithm (PerDiRe)”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. R. Verkauskienė, executors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. V. J. Balčiūnienė, Dr. A. Varoniukaitė.
  • 2020-2023 “Innovative Non-invasive Neuroprotection Technologies for Cardiac Surgery, Neurosurgery and Ophthalmology”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. I. Janulevičienė, executors:  Dr. E. Šimienė, Dr. Res. V. Bakstytė.
  • 2020-2023 “Erasmus+_OMERO EU Training Programme for Training Visually Impaired Workers”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. I. Janulevičienė, executors:  Prof. Dr. R. Žemaitienė, Dr.. A. Povilauskienė, Dr. T. Kisil.
  • 2018-2023 “LSMU Activities Aimed at Improving the Competences and Qualifications of Doctors (LSMU-GYD-KOM)”, Project supervisor J. Petrylė, executors: Prof. Dr. R. Žemaitienė, Prof. Dr. D. Žaliūnienė, Prof. Dr. J. Jankauskienė, Assoc. Prof. Dr. V. J. Balčliūnienė, Dr. G. Miniauskienė, Dr. D. Buteikienė.

Completed projects:

  • 2021 “Associations of Genetic Markers with Pituitary Adenoma”, Project Supervisor Dr. L. Kriaučiūnienė, Executors: Stud. Rasa Juknytė.
  • 2020-2021 “Search for New Molecular Markers of Pituitary Adenoma”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. R.Liutkevičienė, Executors: Stud. Greta Gedvilaitė.
  • 2019-2021 “Biomarkers of Diabetic Retinopathy: Epigenetic Modifications of Genes of the Ubiquitin Proteosome System, Telomere Length and Proteosome Concentration”. Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. R. Verkauskienė, Executors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. V. J. Balčiūnienė, Dr. E. Jusevičiūtė.
  • 2017-2021 “Complex Research of Augmented Reality for the Socially Disabled (Blind and Partially Sighted)”. Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. D. Plikynas, Executors: Prof. Dr. R. Žemaitienė, Prof. Dr. D. Žaliūnienė
  • 2018-2019 “Investigation and Numerical Modelling of Cerebral Blood Flow Autoregulation and Head Pressure in Glaucoma Patients (GLAUMOD)”. Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. I. Janulevičienė, Executors: Dr.. L. Šiaudvytytė, Dr. A. Stoškuvienė, Dr. E. Šimienė
  • 2017 “rs708272 Gene Polymorphism Increases the Risk of Exudative Age-Related Macular Degeneration”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. R.Liutkevičienė, Executors: Stud. Greta Gedvilaitė.
  • 2016-2017 “Development and Use of a Virtual Reality Stimulus in an Innovative Vestibular System Research Device”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. I. Ulozienė, Executors: Prof. Dr. R. Liutkevičienė.
  • 2015-2018 “Search for New Genetic and Metabolic Markers in Healthy and Chronic Macular Degeneration”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. V. Deltuva, Executors: Prof. Dr. R. Liutkevičienė, Dr. L. Kriaučiūnienė.
  • 2015-2018 “Associations of Clinical Features of Pseudo-exfoliative Syndrome with Ischemic Heart Disease and Oxidative Stress”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. G. Bernotienė, Executors: Dr. M. Špečkauskas, Dr. U. Rumelaitienė.
  • 2015-2016 “Biological Markers Detected in Human Blood During a Study With S. pombe, Analysis”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. R.Liutkevičienė, Executors: Dr.. L. Kriaučiūnienė
  • 2014-2017 “Search for New Molecular Prognostic Markers of Pituitary Adenoma and Their Associations With Visual Functions”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. D. Žaliūnienė, Executors: Prof. Dr. R. Liutkevičienė, Dr. B. Glebauskienė.
  • 2014-2015 “Development of an Innovative Assay System to Study Peripheral Vestibular Function” (INTVEST). Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. I. Ulozienė, Executors: Prof. Dr. R. Liutkevičienė.
  • 2014 “Implementation and Application of an Experimental Optic Nerve Injury Model to Preclinical Studies”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. I. Janulevičienė, Executors: Dr.. R. Mačiulaitienė.
  • 2010-2011 “Finding Shared Prognostic Molecular Markers of Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Ischemic Heart Disease”, Project Supervisor Prof. Dr. D. Žaliūnienė, Executors: Prof. Dr. R.Liutkevičienė, Assoc. Prof. Dr. D. Stanislovaitienė.

Representation in specialist organisations and societies:

Prof. Dr. Reda Žemaitienė
Lithuanian representative in the EBO European Board of Ophthalmology
LSMUL representative ERN-EYE

Prof. Dr. Ingrida Janulevičienė
EUPO Council member
Member of the WHO expert group for the development of a package of eye care interventions

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vilma Jūratė Balčiūnienė
Representative of Lithuania in the UEMS – European Union of Medical Specialists
Member of The Vision Academy .


Lithuanian Society of Ophthalmologists:

Chairwoman Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vilma Jūratė Balčiūnienė
Deputy Chairwoman Prof. Dr. Reda Žemaitienė

Board Members:

Prof. Dr. Ingrida Janulevičienė
Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Arvydas Gelžinis
Assoc. Prof. Dr.  Loreta Kuzmienė


Lithuanian Glaucoma Society

Chairwoman Prof. Dr. Ingrida Janulevičienė
Deputy Chairwoman Assoc. Prof. Dr. Loreta Kuzmienė
Kaunas Club of Ophthalmologists
Chairwoman Dr. Edita Puodžiuvienė

LSMU MA MF Department of Ophthalmology
+370 37 326558
Mickevičiaus St. 9, LT-44307, Kaunas
Head of the Department of Ophthalmology