Life in Focus

Dr. Rhee examines Lynette following surgery for glaucoma.

Lynette Hoehn was losing her battle with glaucoma, a sight-robbing condition in which pressure builds up inside the eye, compressing the optic nerve and causing irreversible damage. Left untreated, glaucoma may cause blindness.

Lynette, who has glaucoma in both eyes, used prescription eye drops for 14 years and even had laser treatments for the disease but her vision continued to get worse. In 2013, Douglas J. Rhee, MD, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Director of the UH Eye Institute, joined University Hospitals. That's when things began to look up for Lynette.

One of the most skilled glaucoma experts in the nation, Dr. Rhee recommended a procedure called trabectome, a minimally invasive glaucoma surgery to lower eye pressure. Dr. Rhee has the longest experience with this procedure in the East Coast and Midwestern regions. In fact, his research has helped to define its place in the surgical arsenal for treating glaucoma.

Lynette was eager to try trabectome and had the surgery on her weaker eye in case something went wrong. "When they took the cover off my eye, right away, I could see much more clearly and there was less distortion at night. I asked Dr. Rhee to do the other eye right away," she said.

For Lynette, trabectome surgery has been life-changing. She no longer worries about losing her vision. And she enjoys simple pleasures that glaucoma had made difficult. "I can read a book and do crossword puzzles again!" she said.