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Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD

Specialty: Optometry

Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD
  • Director, Contact Lens Service, UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Director; Vision Research Coordinating Center, UH Cleveland Medical Center
  • Professor, CWRU School of Medicine




Dr. Loretta Szczotka-Flynn, OD, PhD, is a professor in the Case Western Reserve University Departments of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences as well as Population & Quantitative Health Sciences. She is director of the Contact Lens Service at the University Hospitals Eye Institute since 1992. She received her Doctorate of Optometry and Masters of Physiological Optics from The Ohio State University in 1992, and her PhD in Epidemiology from Case Western Reserve University in 2009. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and Diplomate in the Academy’s Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies where she is past chair of the section. In order to become a Fellow in the Academy, excellence in patient care or research must be demonstrated. Fellows can be awarded Diplomate status by demonstrating exceptional skill in the area of cornea and contact lenses after rigorous testing and patient care demonstration. She is one of only 200 Diplomates in this section worldwide. She is also on the Council of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and on the Board of the International Keratoconus Academy.

Dr. Szczotka-Flynn currently serves on the editorial board for the peer reviewed journal Eye & Contact Lens. She has been a topical editor for Optometry & Vision Science (journal of the American Academy of Optometry) for 12 years. She became associate editor for Eye & Contact Lens in 2013. She is also a contributing editor for many trade journals including Contact Lens Spectrum and Review of Optometry.

Clinical Interests

Her clinical interests include contact lens complications, extended contact lens wear, silicone hydrogel contact lenses, scleral contact lenses, keratoconus, post-surgical contact lens fitting, pediatric medically necessary contact lenses, corneal imaging including topography and confocal microscopy, and following and fitting patients after corneal transplantation. She has authored or co-authored more than 80 peer reviewed manuscripts, 13 book chapters, 100 scientific meeting abstracts, and has been invited to present over 200 presentations world-wide. She is a highly sought after speaker in the area of contact lenses and has traveled around the world in that regard.

Research Interests

Dr. Loretta Szczotka-Flynn is recognized as an Expertscape Expert in Contact Lenses for being in the top 1% of scholars with published work about Contact Lenses over the past 10 years. Her major research interests include contact lens associated corneal inflammation and infection, keratoconus, and corneal transplantation which have been funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She also received significant funding from the American Optometric Foundation and industry. She participated in an eight-year study on keratoconus, the Collaborative Longitudinal Evaluation of Keratoconus (CLEK) Study from 1996 to 2004 where she was principal investigator for the site at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals. She was principal investigator of a longitudinal study on extended contact lens wear complications, the Longitudinal Analysis of Silicone Hydrogel (LASH) Contact Lens Study, also funded by the NEI and part of her PhD Dissertation. Her other research interests include contact lens related biofilms which were funded in part by Prevent Blindness America and the CLAO Educational Research Foundation. She recently completed, along with Dr. Jonathan Lass in the Department, the NEI funded Cornea Preservation Time Study where she was Director of the Coordinating Center. This study enrolled 1,330 participants across 40 centers in the U.S to study the effect of donor preservation time on graft success in endothelial corneal transplants. Twelve publications in high profile journal have resulted from this work changing eye banking and keratoplasty practices. In 2018-19 she was funded by NEI and Alcon Laboratories to study the genetic susceptibility to contact lens associated microbial keratitis, together with colleague Sudha Iyengar, PhD.

Other Notable Achievements

Her awards include: Ohio 1997 Young Optometrist of the Year, the Nissel Award from the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) for excellence in Rigid Contact Lens Research in 2000, two Ezell Fellowships from the American Optometric Foundation, the Springer Award and Lecture from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Prevent Blindness Ohio Female Scholar, British Contact Lens Association KeyNote speaker in 2015, and the Korb Award Recipient for Excellence in Contact Lens Education and Research from the American Optometric Association in 2015. She is one the 30 Most Influential In the Field of Contact Lenses Worldwide in the past 30 years as listed by Contact Lens Spectrum in 2016, one of the Top 250 Optometrists in the country as identified by Primary Care Optometry News, and The Ohio State University College of Optometry Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2017.


  • Contact Lenses
  • Dry Eye
  • Keratoconus
  • Optometry


Other Education
Case Western Reserve University (2010)

Professional Education
The Ohio State University College Of Optometry (1992)

Other Education
The Ohio State University (1992)

University Of Michigan (1988)

Languages Spoken

English, Polish

Industry Relationships

University Hospitals is committed to transparency in our interactions with industry partners, such as pharmaceutical, biotech, or medical device companies. At UH, we disclose practitioner and their family members’ ownership and intellectual property rights that are or in the process of being commercialized. In addition, we disclose payments to employed practitioners of $5,000 or more from companies with which the practitioners interact as part of their professional activities. These practitioner-industry relationships assist in developing new drugs, devices and therapies and in providing medical education aimed at improving quality of care and enhancing clinical outcomes. At the same time, UH understands that these relationships may create a conflict of interest. In providing this information, UH desires to assist patients in talking with their practitioners about industry relationships and how those relationships may impact their medical care.

UH practitioners seek advance approval for certain new industry relationships. In addition, practitioners report their industry relationships and activities, as well as those of their immediate family members, to the UH Office of Outside Interests annually. We review these reports and implement management plans, as appropriate, to address conflicts of interest that may arise in connection with medical research, clinical care and purchasing decisions.

View UH’s policy (PDF) on practitioner-industry relationships.

As of December 31, 2016, Loretta Szczotka-Flynn did not disclose any Outside Relationships with Industry.