Taking high dose or long term steroids in a glaucoma patient

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Hello I just wanted to know is there anyone who has had to take high dose/long term steroids for something like polymyalgia or other conditions, how did it affect your glaucoma. I already know that I am a steroid responder after cataract surgery some years ago the steroid eye drops shot my pressure ups and I had to have glaucoma drops (this was before being diagnosed with glaucoma and being on drops for just one eye at the moment). I also have asthma so have to taker inhalers and a steroid nasal inhaler for my rhinitis caused a rise in the pressures so had to abandon the spray. I have been told that I should avoid steroids if at all possible unless they are really necessary but with other arthritis and fibromyalgia I wonder if I might need steroids in the future. I am 71 but would rather live in pain then lose my sight. Anyone out there who can reassure me. Many thanks.

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  • Posted

    Do you have an opthalmologist? I doubt if steroids would be recommended.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply lester90053. Yes I see an ophthalmologist every 6 Months at the eye clinic of our local hospital. As you can see from my post I had to stop the nasal spray because of the pressure rise annoying as it worked well for the rhinitis. I would rather not use any type of steroid drug but as someone with wide spread arthritis steroid injections have been mentioned for the future. Obviously it is a balancing act between the advantages and disadvantages, but for some health problems steroids are a must. I just wanted to know if any glaucoma patient has been in the position of having to take high dose or long term steroids and how did they cope with their glaucoma.

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  • Posted

    I fully understand what you are experiencing. Following cataract surgery, I developed iritis in both eyes. I was on steroid drops for almost 9 months. This resulted in increased eye pressure and full blown glaucoma. I was able get off the steroid drops for 6 months and my eye pressure remained at normal levels. Just recently inflammation returned in both eyes and the doctor wanted to put me on steroid drops again. I resisted at first because I was afraid of losing more of my vision. I read that most glaucoma patients do not lose 100% of their sight. So, I determine that I would use the steroid for as short a period possible to control my inflammation just to minimize the potential for further glaucoma damage. I'll see a specialist soon. I'm hoping he will offer some solutions or reassurances. I hate eye pain as much as I hate the threat o blindness. Maybe, just maybe, we will not totally lose our sight.

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    • Posted

      Thank you iris70679 for your reply. Yes is it a balancing act it would seem. I understand that you are trying keep a balance between needing steroids for your eyes but not so much that it causes more damage to the eyes. Yes you are right I think these days most glaucoma patients do not lose their sight completely better medication, surgery and regular clinic visits. Not like the old days. I have now been diagnosed with fibromyalgia although mild on top of wide spread arthritis. The rheumatologist has suggested 3 different tablets that may help in the future. Looking at them there is a lot list of side effects including warning on one of them maybe two about glaucoma I have been told is is not the common glaucoma which I have so not to worry but it does say could cause pressure rises and blurred vision. I also have IBS and diverticular so any drugs which causes digestive problems I try to avoid. Very hard isn't it trying to do whats best. When you see your specialist do post back if you get any useful information. I hope everything goes well for you.

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