"For years I had been a "junkie"--addicted to prescription and over the counter drugs. used oral and topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroids for 9 years to suppress my eczema/psoriasis. The steroids' side effect nearly killed me and did nothing to cure my eczema. The side effects caused me to swell-up like a balloon and triggered terrible mood swings from deep depression to nasty outburst our rages. Functioning of vital organs such as my liver, kidneys, lungs and spleen were nearly shut down and I thought I would die." Shirley
To limit side effects, oral, inhaled or topical ophthalmological steroids are often prescribed for a very short period of time. However, for many serious conditions, they must be used for longer periods of time. Chronic use of steroids can cause many well-known side effects, including weakened bones, fluid retention, high blood pressure, mood swings and confusion. Less well known is that they can also cause eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, notes David F. Chang, MD, a clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco and coauthor of Cataracts: A Patient’s Guide to Treatment . The good news is that cataracts are very treatable, as is glaucoma when detected early. Before prescribing steroids, Dr. Chang points out that doctors always try to make sure that the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks and disadvantages, and generally will limit their use to as short a time as possible.