Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that affects older adults. Because you can have glaucoma without any symptoms, it’s important to check every year whether the pressure in your eye is elevated—an early sign of glaucoma. The pressure test (tonometry) is quick and painless. After your eye is numbed with drops, a sophisticated device is used to measure eye pressure.

“Glaucoma cannot be prevented, but the extent of the damage it can cause can be controlled,” Dr. Samuel Friedel, University of Maryland School of Medicine Professor of Ophthalmology, says. “At its worst state, glaucoma can cause permanent blindness that cannot be repaired. Most commonly, we begin treatment using drops. If the drops aren’t sufficient, or the patient can’t tolerate them or can’t regiment themselves to using them regularly, there are laser treatments and surgical procedures as a second option.”

UMMC Midtown Campus offers a surgical procedure that can be performed in combination with cataract surgery for those who suffer from both cataracts and glaucoma. This combination surgery adds little time to the surgery and eliminates the need for glaucoma drops.

If you are getting regular eye examinations, glaucoma can be diagnosed very early before it has done any damage.