The worldwide problem of visual impairment is set to increase, as we are seeing increased longevity in developed countries. This will produce a crisis in vision care unless concerted action is taken. Although there are as many as 37 million people suffering with blindness throughout the world, 80% of vision loss is either preventable or treatable. The substantial value that ophthalmic interventions confer to patients with eye diseases has led to intense research efforts in this area in recent years, with corresponding improvements in treatment, ophthalmic instrumentation and surgical techniques. As a result, the future for ophthalmology holds great promise as further exciting and innovative developments unfold. Expert Review of Ophthalmology provides an important platform for commentary and debate on current and emerging approaches in ocular medicine.