The Open Eyes Foundation is a Swiss foundation, established under private law and recognized as being of public interest.

Open Eyes financially supports research in ophthalmology carried out at the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital in Lausanne and the Institute for Research in Ophthalmology in Sion (IRO)

The research faculty of the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital and the Institute for Research in Ophthalmology (IRO) constitute a joint scientific research center under the responsibility of the Ophthalmology department of the University of Lausanne (UNIL), uniting the expertise of a large number of researchers.

The Jules Gonin Eye Hospital provides high-tech medical and surgical ophthalmic care with around 70,000 consultations carried out each year.

Research at the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital and IRO covers all fields of ophthalmology, with a particular focus on:

  • Identification of genes implicated in ocular diseases and gene therapy (Ocular genetics).
  • Stem cell biology
  • Hereditary and acquired retinal degeneration (age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa etc.)
  • Cancer of the eye in children and adults
  • Infectious / inflammatory diseases
  • Glaucoma, corneal diseases
  •  Vitreoretinal surgery
  •  Neuro-ophthalmology
  •  Cataract and refractive surgery

Blindnessin Switzerland and Worldwide

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2013 the number of people visually impaired was estimated to be 285 million, of whom 39 million were blind. For Switzerland alone, the SNAB (Swiss National Association of and for the Blind) estimates the number of individuals severely visually impaired to be 325,000, of whom 10,000 are blind and a further 10,000 both deaf and blind.

With rising life expectancy, these figures are on the increase. Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) affects up to 30% of people aged 80 years or over.

Around 2,000 diseases and ophthalmic syndromes have been identified to date. Among the most frequent causes of visual impairment are: cataract, glaucoma, retinal diseases, diabetes, infectious diseases and accidents.