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Michel Michaelides is a Professor of Ophthalmology at University College London where he is based at the Institute of Ophthalmology, one of the leading vision research centres in the world.

Professor Michaelides sees private patients at Clinica London on Harley Street, and as a Consultant Ophthalmologist, he sees NHS patients at Moorfields Eye Hospital, one of the largest and oldest eye hospitals in the world. His research and teaching revolve around retinal disease, which is the commonest cause of visual loss in the western world. Retinal disease impacts children, those of working age and the retired population. 

Michel Michaelides is regularly involved in delivering therapies for retinal disease, including intravitreal treatments and laser treatments, both with a conventional laser and photodynamic therapy. He is a consultant in the departments of Medical Retina, Inherited Eye Disease and Paediatric Ophthalmology where he has regular clinics in both inherited and non-inherited retinal diseases of adults and children.



  • Macular Degeneration

  • Macular Disease

  • Retinopathy

  • Retinal Vascular Occlusions


Why me?


Inherited retinal disease now represents the commonest cause of visual loss in the UK working age population and the second most prevalent cause in UK children.

Professor Michel Michaelides has dedicated his career to reducing people’s visual loss due to retinal disease. He is involved in the development of novel treatments for age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular oedema and inherited retinal disease, both in the laboratory and in clinical trials to determine the safety and effectiveness of these new treatments.

“From my early schooldays I felt a fascination with the human body – I thought that it was the most interesting thing we possessed.”

Professor Michaelides undertook a period of dedicated research (2002-2004), with his doctoral thesis entitled: ‘Cone and Central Receptor Dystrophies – A Clinical and Molecular Genetic Investigation’. He has undertaken a medical retina and genetics clinical fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital, and a combined ophthalmic genetics and paediatric ophthalmology clinical and research fellowship at the internationally renowned Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

His research has resulted to date in over 250 peer-reviewed publications and 18 co-authored book chapters regarding bespoke medical ophthalmic conditions and treatments. He collaborates closely with Professors Robin Ali and James Bainbridge in the UK and Professors Joe Carroll and Richard Weleber in the USA, culminating in multiple publications and presentations relating to both acquired and inherited retinal disease and the development of new treatments. He is actively involved in retinal clinical trials investigating novel and established therapies and is a principal investigator in 6 on-going clinical trials. He has an excellent research and clinical reputation.

Professor Michaelides has research grant funding of over £8 million to undertake research into retinal disease from a broad range of funders, including the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Fight for Sight, and the National Institute for Health Research. He is a recipient of the career development award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness (USA) – an award which is rarely given to non-US applicants; and has gained membership of the highly prestigious Macular Society and Retina Society in the USA.



Professor Michaelides commonly treats the conditions below. You can find out more by clicking on one of the tabs below.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a retinal degeneration and is the most common cause of blindness in people over 65 in industrialised countries. Research into the causes is ongoing, but factors such as genetic makeup, smoking, cardiovascular problems and diet are related to this condition.

AMD affects the central part of the retina, called the macula. This part is responsible for the fine sign which is a visual disturbance in the central field of vision. The main symptom is a progressive loss of central vision, noticed by blurred central vision or a central blind spot.

Two types of ageing macular degeneration exist, wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Most people start with dry degeneration and develop wet macular degeneration in one or two years later.

Inherited retinal conditions now represent the most common cause of severe visual loss in the working age population in the UK. They are a very variable group of conditions, which require specialist retinal expertise to establish an accurate timely diagnosis with appropriate examination and investigations, in order to provide reliable advice, information on prognosis and offer appropriate genetic counselling. Inherited Retinal Diseases include Retinitis Pigmentosa, Stargardt´s Disease, Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, Cone Dystrophies, Usher’s Syndrome, Achromatopsia, Choroideremia, and Juvenile X-Linked Retinoschisis.

Paediatric retinal disease

Paediatric retinal conditions are variable and have multiple underlying causes including inherited, inflammatory, infectious and congenital. Specialist expertise is required both in retinal disease, paediatric ophthalmology, electrophysiology and retinal imaging to be able to establish the diagnosis in a timely fashion and provide appropriate advice and management. It is not uncommon that unexplained visual loss is due to retinal disease.

The blood vessels of the retina are very fine and vulnerable to blockage, which can profoundly affect vision.

A retinal artery occlusion can cause sudden painless loss of vision and blood flow must be restored rapidly for the retina to regain its function. Medical treatment can potentially help re-establish the circulation. The causes include Giant Cell Arteritis, a condition which should be checked for and can be treated. A cardiovascular workup may also be necessary since blood pressure and diabetes are often associated.

A retinal vein occlusion commonly causes painless loss of vision. The causes include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, glaucoma. Treatment options include intravitreal anti-VEGF injections and other modalities.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common causes of blindness in industrialised countries, affecting the retina of diabetic patients. See Eye Anatomy drawing here to see where the retina is:
eye anatomy

Diabetes affects up to 3% of the world population. Diabetic retinopathy is related to the duration of diabetes and the metabolic control of the patients; patients that control their diabetes poorly can develop retinopathy within a few years whilst patients that control their diabetes well may not develop retinopathy at all.

In diabetic retinopathy, the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye (capillaries) leak fluid which causes the retina to swell and not function well, especially if at the macula, called diabetic macula oedema. New blood vessels can grow and bleed suddenly in severe diabetic retinopathy.

Professor Michel Michaelides has world-class expertise in all of the aforementioned areas and has trained at world leading institutions to hone these skills. Michel is a highly trained specialist who uses the most advanced diagnostic imaging tools and offers the latest proven treatments in order to restore, preserve, slow-up, stop, or restore vision.

Michel is actively researching medical retinal diseases and is part of, or leads, several international research teams.

If you have experienced changes in your vision (in either eye or both), such as: central loss of vision, seeing floaters, flashes or cobwebs, distorted vision that sees straight lines as wavy, loss of vision, poor night vision, colour vision problems, or side vision defects, you may have a medical retinal problem that Professor Michel Michaelides can help with.

Eye floaters, flashes of light, and reduced vision can represent serious retinal disease and require an urgent appointment.



“Dear Professor Michaelides, on behalf of my mother as well as myself, I would like to thank you for the consultation we had with you last Friday regarding my Usher Type 2/ RP condition. The knowledge and advice you shared with us was much appreciated. Today I received copy of the letter which you sent to my GP as record of the consultation. You might recall I mentioned that I have and indoor cycling frame which is great for an ex-road cyclist. If you should have any other patients who have to give up cycling on the road, I can recommend the “e-motion rollers” which is an American product and allows cyclists to ride their actual bike without modifications – suitable only for road bikes with high tyre pressure.”

Chris B.

“Dear Professor Michaelides, I just wanted to express mine and my parents’ gratitude for arranging to see us all today and taking the time to answer all our questions. We left with a much greater understanding of the issues involved with genetic testing, the potential pattern of inheritance I have, and a renewed optimism over advances that could be happening in the field. It was also very helpful and reassuring to see Dr Amar again and be introduced to Jonathan the genetic counsellor – please do pass on our thanks to them as well.”

Rachael S.

“Dear Professor Michaelides, well done and thank you! You saw me last November for my annual RP assessment. You recommended to see the Glaucoma unit which I duly attended last week. (There was a delay because I had a cataract op in February)
I do indeed have glaucoma as well as RP. Thankfully glaucoma is likely to be treatable with drops, so now at last the deterioration in my sight may be least partially arrested. I hope you will recommend to the retinal team that all RP suffers are tested for Glaucoma at fitting intervals.”

Edmund S.

“Dear Professor Michel Michaelides, Thank you very much for your letter of the 4th September 2012. Ths means so very much to myself and Victor, during this terrible stressful time. Ever since my first consultation with you, the caring dedication and understanding I have received from you has been priceless. Thank you with all my heart. Wishing you a healthy and happy future.”

Doreen S.

Dear Michel, My wife and I wish to thank you for your kindness and attention with regard to my poor eyesight. Your caring attitude and honest approach to help relieve my problem and find the best solution is overwhelming. And it is with this in mind we would like to express our sincere thanks for everything you have done for me.”

Maurice K.

“Thank you for this, it’s nice to know you got the information you needed and were treated with respect. The team at Clinica London are good and the key thing, as you say, is seeing someone with the speciality in retinal degeneration.”




Watch more



Professor Michaelides frequently present talks to the ophthalmology community to enhance the continuing education of optometrists, GPs and fellow ophthalmologists. You can find out more by clicking on one of the events below.

Let’s talk.


Our friendly team is happy to answer your questions no matter how small. The best way to understand your options is to have a quick chat. Call us today!



You can click on any question below to find out more about your specific eye concern.
This can be one of many common conditions, including retinal detachment, branch retinal vein occlusion, glaucoma or an inherited retinal disease. You will require an urgent full ophthalmic workup for the diagnosis to be made and treatment advised. This will include visual function assessment, retinal and optic nerve imaging with OCT and SLO and field visual field analysis, plus binocular retinal and macular microscopic examination.
Blurred distorted central vision points to a macular disorder. The macula is the most specialised part of the retina responsible for fine detail and colour vision. You will require a full medical and ophthalmic workup and also Amsler Chart testing. Depending on the condition, treatment can then be started.
This is an urgent eye problem, and you should see an ophthalmic specialist ASAP as it could be a tear in your retina and can lead to retinal detachment. The retina requires checking as a simple laser can often seal an early retinal tear. It could also be a vitreous haemorrhage or bleed into the eye from a leaking blood vessel from diabetic retinopathy or branch vein occlusion. Only by full examination and special testing can a diagnosis be made and treatment started.

You require a full genetic history and ocular examination as this may represent a genetically inherited retinal disease.




Clinica London
140 Harley Street
London W1G 7LB

Contact: 020 7935 7990



Moorfields Eye Hospital
162 City Road
London EC1V 2PD


UCL Institute of Ophthalmology
11-43 Bath St
London EC1V 9EL

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