Valve Specialist

Comprehensive Ophthalmology located in Libertyville, IL


If you’ve tried eye drops and laser treatments for glaucoma but still have too much pressure in your eyes, a glaucoma valve could help. At their offices in Libertyville, Illinois, the board-certified eye doctors of North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians can assess your suitability for glaucoma valve implantation. They use the most advanced implants, like the Ahmed® glaucoma valve, to relieve pressure in your eye and prevent further sight loss. Call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today or book an appointment online to see how a valve can help with your glaucoma.

Valve Q & A

What is a glaucoma valve?

A glaucoma valve is an implant that reduces pressure inside your eyeball and prevents the optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma.

Glaucoma implants have been around since the 1960s, evolving over the years to become safer and more effective. North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians use several kinds of glaucoma implants, including:

Ahmed glaucoma valve

New World Medical’s Ahmed device is the most widely used glaucoma valve.

Baerveldt® glaucoma implant

The Baerveldt tube shunt is an older type of implant but is still helpful to some patients.

Molteno3® glaucoma drainage device

Your eye doctor might recommend a pressure-ridge Molteno glaucoma implant if you’ve already had guarded filtering surgery (trabeculectomy) without success.

Why would I need a glaucoma valve?

Glaucoma develops when the aqueous fluid level inside your eyeball increases to an unhealthy degree. In a healthy eye, the fluid cycles through continually. As your eye produces new fluid, old fluid drains from the eyeball, maintaining an even pressure. If the aqueous fluid drain is blocked, it leads to a buildup that increases the pressure in your eyeball.

The pressure will eventually damage the optic nerve at the back of your eye. This nerve sends messages about what you’re seeing to your brain. Untreated glaucoma damages the optic nerve and can cause sight loss. You might lose your sight altogether if the nerve is severely damaged.

Most patients with glaucoma benefit from North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians’ primary treatments. One of these is eye drops that help reduce pressure in the eye, and another is selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). If these or other treatments don’t work, you might need a glaucoma valve.

In some patients, eye drainage surgery is unlikely to succeed. If this applies to you, your eye doctor might suggest using a glaucoma valve instead.

How does a glaucoma valve work?

A glaucoma valve works by guiding excess aqueous liquid from the inside of your eyeball to a reservoir just outside. Your surgeon inserts the flow tube into the eye and a plate underneath the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane coating your eyes). Fluid flows from your eye into the reservoir or bleb.

If you have glaucoma, there’s a good chance that your eye doctor at North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians can treat it without the need for a valve. But if you do need one, you can be sure that you’re in the best place for such a specialized procedure.

To find out more, call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today or book an appointment online.