Steroids and the eyes
Steroids used for eye conditions
Steroids are used to treat some types of inflammatory eye disease. Usually the treatment takes the form of eye drops (topical) prescribed by an ophthalmologist or a therapeutically qualified optometrist. Patients using steroid eye drops need to have their eye pressures monitored particularly if the course of treatment is more than just a few days. This is because topical steroid eye drops cause an increase in eye pressure in about 10% of patients and this can lead to a secondary steroid induced glaucoma.
Other steroid medicines
Steroids are used to treat a wide range of conditions. Patients who have been prescribed oral steroids to be taken by over a prolonged period of time may development a posterior sub-capsular cataract which can affect vision. A rise in eye pressure is less common with systemic steroids.
Steroid skin creams are used to treat a number of conditions, for example eczema. If the steroid cream gets on to the eye lid then some may leach into the eye. This can cause a rise in eye pressure in susceptible individuals and secondary glaucoma can be induced. Care must be taken not to get steroid cream near the eyes but if you have been prescribed steroid skin cream for use around the eye lid area, you should have your eye pressures monitored.
Please always inform your optometrist about all the medications including any steroid skin creams that you take.