Posted by: tiffanyakraus | March 13, 2016

Prednisone & Cataracts

Many drugs out there can affect the health of your eyes. The corticosteroid Prednisone is used to treat many conditions and side effects. In cancer patients, it is used to keep nausea at bay among other symptoms associated with their treatments. One of the most common side effects with Prednisone treatments is cataracts developing. I currently know two people going through chemo treatments who have developed the eye condition.

After learning of this side effect, it made me wonder why it happens.

Simply put, there isn’t an exact reason currently known to doctors and scientists on why cataracts form in patients using Prednisone. It is known that cataracts start to form in the eye after prolonged use.

While the cause isn’t known, there are several possibilities:

  • Protein Modification
  • Metabolic Disturbances/Insufficient Energy Production
  • Osmotic Regulatory System Failure
  • Free Radical Damage


There are ways to help slow the progress of Prednisone linked cataracts. Cataract removal surgery is the most common way to get rid of the clouded lens. This surgery will remove the defective lens and an artificial one is put in. For many cancer patients this isn’t an option due to their compromised immune systems.

While waiting for cataract surgery, one can decrease agitation by wearing proper eyewear. Glasses for near or farsightedness are important if you need them. This helps with any eye strain. Sunglasses for outside use are just as important. Blurring of the eyes can occur in sunlight due to cataracts. Wearing dark, polarized sunglasses can cut this down and help with life quality.

Whatever you do, know the risks of the medicines you are taking and what can be done for your symptoms.





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