Steroid Abuse through Supplements May Cause Glaucoma and Cataract in Youngsters


Hyderabad: With a range of high steroid drugs available over the counter including supplements in the city of Hyderabad and increasing number of aspirants for a muscular and toned body, a parallel increase in consumption of intake of steroids has been reported.
Steroid is a useful component in medicines which are often prescribed to treat certain chronic inflammatory conditions such as asthma, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. However, eye specialists warn that high or prolonged steroid intake or steroid abuse could result in early development of cataract and glaucoma, leading to loss of vision.
Dr Kasu Prasad Reddy , ophthalmologist at Maxivision Eye Hospital Hyderabad reflects “ With the rising culture of gym and body fitness in the country we see youngsters consuming steroids for achieving built up body frames. Leaving aside the other side effects of steroidal consumption, overdose or prolonged usage might damage your eyes. The tech savvy world requires us to be glued on our screens day in and out. But the harmful rays emitted by them increasingly call for protection.”
Cataracts, which are primarily an age-related condition of the eye, can also be caused in relatively younger people due to environmental conditions and other causes. If you are suffering from a condition in which steroidal drugs are prescribed, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor about their potential side-effects on the eye. People suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis often end up consuming steroids for prolonged durations. Increasing consumption of prescription-based steroids is because of the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases accounting 60% of the diseases reported under the health survey conducted by United Nations. Chronic consumption of steroids poses a much greater risk for developing cataract. Therefore regulation of steroidal consumption is equally important.
Dr K.P Reddy says, “Regulated and prescribed intake of steroids does not cause trouble. But when people take steroids for prolonged chronic conditions, there is a significant risk for the development of cataract. Even skin diseases like acne can lead to cataract due to intake of steroids. There is no denying that there are other risk factors like age, history of eye surgery or even trauma (eye injury) that determines the formation of cataract. Ophthalmologists and surgeons should help their patients for controlling the intake of steroids and recommend alternative therapies”
Dr K.P Reddy has been treating more than 180 cataract patients every month. Cataract is a leading cause of preventable blindness. In fact, up to 60% of blindness in India is believed to be caused by untreated cataract.
Fortunately today, cataract is easily treatable and advanced ophthalmology solutions enable patients to lead highly active lifestyles with good quality of life even post cataract surgery.
In a world governed by screens and social media, we are glued to our digital devices day in and out. Thus impeccable intermediate vision has become a priority for younger and older generations alike.
While elaborating on the treatment options available Dr K.P Reddy reflects “While spectacles are undoubtedly an easy choice, a more long lasting option has come into the eye health care sector. Extended Range of Vision Intraocular lenses (ERV IOL lenses) would be the wisest pick because these lenses give impeccable clarity and contrast of vision. The night vision through these lenses is uninterrupted with reduced incidence of halos or glares, quite common in the more popular multifocal lenses. ERV IOL is a promising and commendable solution for eye care. It caters to distant, near and intermediate vision.”
One of the solutions for preventing cataract is generating awareness around it. Cataract accounts for 60-80% of blindness in India. The Vision2020 motto World Sight Day 2017 “Right to Sight” aims to eradicate eye ailments which can be prevented. Regular eye screenings are key to prevent and timely treat cataract.
“Prolonged exposure to blast furnaces and even U.V rays can cause cataract. Since cataract is not restricted to older population now, parents should get their child’s eye examined while their children are two-three years-old. As far as adults are concerned, people aged 40 should get a mandatory eye checkup done. Self medication can be extremely harmful and thus the dosage of steroids should be regulated by physicians. Homeopathic medicines should be avoided at all costs because they offer no eye treatment. While searching for solutions to eye ailments, one should check durability and longevity of a lens. I personally recommend ERV IOL lenses because I myself underwent ERV IOL implant and have benefited from it.” adds Dr K.P Reddy.

Monday, December 25, 2017