Yes, there is a high possibility that consuming unrecommended steroids can lead to cataract formation. Steroids are corticosteroid drugs that include prednisone, glucocorticoid, cortisone, and hydrocortisone. Doctors prescribe these to treat conditions like arthritis, severe skin allergies, lupus, asthma, eye diseases, and to reduce inflammation in the body. Steroids can be in the form of an ointment, eye drops, inhalers, pills, and injections. While doctors prescribe them for certain diseases, patients should be aware of the link between steroids and the side effects associated with it. It is seen that prolonged use of anti-inflammatory steroids has the potential to:
- Weaken your bones and immune systems
- Cause diabetes or worsen the existing
- Cataract formation such as subcapsular cataract
- Formation of open-angle glaucoma
Risk factorsDifferent bodies react to steroids differently. Some people are more sensitive to steroids and their effects. People suffering from diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, open-angle glaucoma, and nearsightedness are more likely to experience the side effects in their vision. Generally, senior citizens and children under six years old are prone to having eye effects from steroids. However, this is not only the case but sometimes PSC cataracts (Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts) can also occur in patients who have never taken steroids in any form. A medical consultation is required.
How does it affect and for how long?Steroids in any form can raise your eye pressure. The eye pressure tends to increase just after a few weeks of consuming steroids. Usually, oral medication and eye drops are responsible for eye problems. But most importantly, it is the duration that affects the most and not the higher dose, but the longer the time period, the greater the risk. So, if you are taking steroids for a long time, you should consult the doctor and go for regular eye check-ups to monitor the eye pressure.
Other Side EffectsIt is so important for people to be aware of all the pros and cons so that they consult with eye specialists on time. Ignoring any symptom or an effect can land you in deep trouble. Apart from eye problems such as cataract and glaucoma, there are few other maladies associated with it:
- Increased appetite
- Frequent infections
- High blood pressure
- Thinning of the skin
- Delayed wound healing