Resident Alumni
Fellow Alumni


Ahmad A. Aref, MD, MBA

Professor of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma Service; Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs; Medical Director; Director, Glaucoma Fellowship Training Program University of Illinois College of MedicineDepartment of Ophthalmology
Work Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary 1855 W. Taylor Street, M/C 648 Chicago IL 60612
Photo of Ahmad A. Aref MD, MBA

Biographical Info

Professor of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma Service
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs & Medical Director
Director, Glaucoma Fellowship Training Program

Mailing Address:
Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary
1855 W. Taylor Street, M/C 648
Chicago, IL 60612

Sees patients at:
Specialty Care Building (SCB)
Glaucoma Service
1009 S. Wood St.
Chicago, IL 60612

Schedule an Appointment


“My goal is to use any surgical and medical
advancement available to stop glaucoma
from further robbing my patients of their vision.”
– Ahmad Aref, MD


Dr. Aref is a tenured Professor of Ophthalmology and attending physician in the Glaucoma and Cataract Consultation Service.  He serves as the Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary’s Medical Director, Glaucoma Fellowship Director, and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs.

Dr. Aref’s clinical practice concentrates on cataract and glaucoma surgical therapies.  Specifically, he performs trabeculectomy and glaucoma drainage implant surgery for advanced glaucomatous disease as well microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) for patients with mild to moderate disease.  Specific MIGS options offered by Dr. Aref include trabecular microbypass stents (Hydrus Implant, Alcon Laboratories and iStent, Glaukos Co) implantation, ab-interno canaloplasty, gonioscopy assisted transluminal trabeculotomy (GATT), Kahook Dual Blade (KDB, New World Medical, Inc.) goniotomy, and endolaser cyclophotocoagulation (ECP). He has a particular interest in the management of angle-closure glaucomas.

In addition to glaucoma surgery, Dr. Aref also specializes in premium cataract and intraocular lens surgeries using the latest techniques. He offers advanced options for vision correction postoperatively, including diffractive, enhanced depth of focus, and toric intraocular lens platforms. Dr. Aref is certified in the use of the LensX laser (Alcon Laboratories) for femtosecond laser assisted cataract surgery and offers this technology to all appropriate candidates.

Dr. Aref is board-certified by The American Board of Ophthalmology as well as The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.  His research interests include the development of novel glaucoma surgical techniques, sustained release glaucoma medical therapies, and the improvement of glaucoma diagnosis using computerized imaging methods. Dr. Aref has authored over 70 scientific publications and book chapters and serves as an active peer-reviewer for several ophthalmic medical journals.  His published textbook, Advanced Glaucoma Surgery, is a valuable resource for glaucoma surgeons worldwide. He serves as a lead section editor for the Editorial Boards of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeWiki and EyeNet publications.

Dr. Aref is an active member of The American Academy of Ophthalmology, The American Society for Cataract and Refractive Surgery, The American Glaucoma Society, and The Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons. He carries a medical degree from Northwestern University and an MBA in Economics and Strategic Management from the University of Chicago. Dr. Aref has been selected by Castle Connolly Medical as a Top Doctor in the area of Ophthalmology.



MBA, Economics & Strategic Management—The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
MD—Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago
BSc, Microbiology—The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Internship—St. John Hospital & Medical Center, Detroit
Residency—Penn State Hershey Eye Center, Penn State University College of Medicine
Fellowship in Glaucoma—Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami

See a representative list of Dr. Aref’s published journal articles in PubMed.

Current/Recent Publications

Kanu LN, Jang I, Oh DJ, Tiwana MS, Mehta AA, Dikopf MS, Vajarnanat TS, Aref AA, Edward DP. Glaucoma Care of Prisoners at an Academic Hospital. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2020; [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 32077908.

Mocan MC, Mehta AA, Aref AA. Update in Genetics and Surgical Management of Primary Congenital Glaucoma. Turkish Journal of Ophthalmology. 2019;49:347-355. PMID: 31893591.

Aref AA, Geyman LS, Zakieh AR, Alotaibi HM. Netarsudil and Latanoprost Ophthalmic Solution for the Reduction of Intraocular Pressure in Open-Angle Glaucoma or Ocular Hypertension. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology. 2019;12:1073-1079. PMID: 31842637.

Mehta R, Aref AA. Intraocular Lens Implantation in the Ciliary Sulcus: Challenges and Risks. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2019;13:2317-2323. PMID: 31819356.

Aref AA, Maleki S, Tan O, Huang D, Varma R, Shahidi M. Relating Glaucomatous Visual Field Loss to Retinal Oxygen Delivery and Metabolism. Acta Ophthalmology. 2019;97:e968-e972. PMID 31016869.

Oh DJ, Kanu LN, Chen JL, Aref AA, Mieler WF, MacIntosh PW. Inpatient and Emergency Room Ophthalmology Consultations at an Academic Tertiary Care Center. Journal of Ophthalmology. 2019;7807391. PMID: 30895161.

Dorairaj SK, Seibold LK, Radcliffe NM, Aref AA, Jimenez-Roman J, Lazcano-Gomez GS, Darlington JK, Mansouri K, Berdahl JP. 12-Month Outcomes of Goniotomy Performed Using the Kahook Dual Blade Combined with Cataract Surgery in Eyes with Medically Treated Glaucoma. Advances in Therapy. 2018;35:1460-1469. PMID: 30078175.

Salinas L, Chaudhary A, Berdahl JP, Lazcano-Gomez GS, Williamson BK, Dorairaj SK, Seibold LK, Smith S, Aref AA, Darlington JK, Jimenez-Roman J, Mahootchi A, Boucekine M, Mansouri K. Goniotomy Using the Kahook Dual Blade in Severe and Refractory Glaucoma: Six Month Outcomes. Journal of Glaucoma. 2018;27:849-855. PMID: 29979337.

Ali MH, Dikopf MS, Finder AG, Aref AA, Vajaranant TS, Liu J, de la Cruz J, Cortina MS. Assessment of Glaucomatous Damage Following Boston Keratoprosthesis Implantation Based on Digital Planimetric Quantification of Visual Fields and Optic Nerve Head Imaging. Cornea. 2018;37:602-608. PMID: 29474296.

Aref AA, Budenz DL. Detecting Visual Field Progression. Ophthalmology. 2017;124(12S):S51-S56. PMID: 29157362.

Greenwood MD, Abdullah S, Radcliffe NM, Jasek MC, Roman JJ, Seibold LK, Lazcano GS, Darlington JK, Dorairaj SK, Aref AA, Bahjri KA, Berdahl JP. Goniotomy with a Single Use Dual Blade: Short-term Results. Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. 2017;43:1197-1201. PMID: 28991617.

Liu JL, McAnany JJ, Wilensky JT, Aref AA, Vajaranant TS. M&S Smart System Contrast Sensitivity Measurements Compared with Standard Visual Function Measurements in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients. Journal of Glaucoma. 2017;26:528-533. PMID: 28333894.

Zhou Y, Aref AA.  Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty – Recent Findings and Current Perspectives. Ophthalmology and Therapy. 2017;6:19-32. PMID: 28258400.

Dunbar GE, Shen B, Aref AA. Spotlight on the Sensimed Triggerfish Contact Lens Sensor: Efficacy, Safety, and Patient Perspectives. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2017;11:875-882. PMID: 28507427.

Aref AA, Gedde SJ, Budenz DL. Glaucoma Drainage Implant Surgery. Developments in Ophthalmology. 2017;59:43-52. PMID: 28442686.

Aref AA. Sustained Drug Delivery for Glaucoma: Current Data and Future Trends. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. 2017;28:169-174. PMID: 27764023.

Vajaranant TS, Liu J, Wilensky J, Cortina MS, Aref AA. Innovative Approaches to Glaucoma Management of Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 1. Current Ophthalmology Reports. 2016;4:147-153. PMID: 28529825.

Namavari A, Hyde RA, Wang D, Vajaranant TS, Aref AA. Primary Baerveldt Shunt Implantation: Outcomes and Complications. Ophthalmology and Therapy. 2016;5:253-262. PMID: 27457724.

Vajaranant TS, Liu J, Wilensky J, Cortina MS, Aref AA. Innovative Approaches to Glaucoma Management of Boston Keratoprosthesis Type 1. Current Ophthalmology Reports. 2016;4:147-153. PMID: 28529825.

Aref AA. Current Management of Glaucoma and Vascular Occlusive Disease. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. 2016;27:140-145. PMID: 26595845.

Aref AA, Scott IU, Oden NL, Ip MS, Blodi BA, Van Veldhuisen PC. SCORE Study Report 15: Incidence, Risk Factors, and Timing of Elevated Intraocular Pressure after Intravitreal Triamcinolone Injection for Macular Edema Secondary to Retinal Vein Occlusion. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2015;133:1022-1029. PMID: 26086920.

Thomas M, Vajaranant TS, Aref AA. Hypotony Maculopathy: Clinical Presenation and Therapeutic Methods. Ophthalmology and Therapy. 2015;4:79-88. PMID: 26253854.

Jain S, Aref AA. Senile Dementia and Glaucoma: Evidence for a Common Link. Journal of Ophthalmic and Vision Research. 2015;10:178-183. PMID: 26425322.

Aref AA, Sivaraman KR, Djalilian AR. Glaucoma Drainage Implant Surgery and Ocular Surface Transplant Graft Preservation. Seminars in Ophthalmology. 2015;30(3):210-213. PMID: 24116393.

Categories: Ophthalmology


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