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Photo of Aref, Ahmad A.

Ahmad A. Aref, MD, MBA


Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs
Medical Director
Director, Glaucoma Fellowship Program

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences



1855 W. Taylor Street, MC 648 Chicago IL 60612

Clinic Address

Building & Room:

Specialty Care Building (SCB)


1009 S. Wood St. Chicago, IL 60612

Related Sites:

“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 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 Board of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeNet publication.

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 as a "Top Doctor" in Ophthalmology by Castle Connolly and one of "America's Best Eye Doctors" by Newsweek.

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MD: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Residency in Ophthalmology: Penn State Hershey Eye Center
Fellowship in Glaucoma: Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
MBA, Economics and Strategic Management: University of Chicago Booth School of Business