Vision – Transform visual system trauma care for our armed forces and the nation

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Eye injury and visual dysfunction resulting from battlefield trauma affect a large number of Service members and Veterans. Surveillance data from the U.S. Department of Defense indicate that eye injury accounts for approximately 15% of all injuries from battlefield trauma sustained during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulting in more than 182,000 ambulatory patients and 4,000 hospitalizations between 2000 and 2011. In addition, traumatic brain injury (TBI), which affects more than 380,000 Service members between 2000 and 2018, can have significant impact on vision even when there is no injury to the eye. Research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showed that as many as 75% of Service members who had suffered a TBI had visual dysfunction.

The Vision Research Program (VRP) was established by Congress in fiscal year 2009 (FY09) to fund impactful military-relevant vision research that has the potential to significantly improve the health care and well-being of Service members, Veterans, their family members and caregivers, and the American public. The VRP’s program area aligns with the Sensory Systems task area of the Clinical and Rehabilitative Medicine Research Program, a core research program of the Defense Health Agency. The VRP was administered by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center from FY09 to FY12 and was transitioned to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) for administration starting with the FY13 program cycle.

Resources for Investigators:

Congressional Appropriations

Congressional Appropriations

  • $164.95 million
  • $20 million

Funding Summary


Related Videos

CAPT Walter Steigleman, MD

Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
Advancing Research for Military Vision Trauma

MAJ Thomas Zampieri (USA Ret.), PhD, PA

Blinded Veterans Association
Restoring Hope for Service Members with Eye Trauma

Michael Steinmetz, PhD

National Eye Institute
Generating New Treatments for Warfighters and Their Families

COL Mark Reynolds, MD

DoD Vision Center of Excellence
Addressing the Unique Challenges of Military Eye Trauma

Last updated Sunday, December 31, 1600