I have been diagnosed with full blown cataract in left eye,and the right eye just the beginning of one .Can anyone tell me can they be operated on when on steroids and at what dose.Started on 40mg 10 months ago,but have had 3 flares trying to come down,so on the doctors recommendation am back up to 20mg and am likely to stay there for at least the next 10 weeks to try and have a settled period before i attempt to try and slowly reduce again.As i had no sign of one when diagnosed with GCA i am quite concerned with the speed of the development ,and has anyone out there had similar problems

14 Replies

  • There are different sorts of cataract, one sort is caused by steroids alone, the other sort are often speeded up in development by pred.

    As to whether they can be operated on when on a given dose of pred, the only person who can answer that is your eye surgeon - one might, another might not. There are people on the forums who have had them done while still on pred though probably at lower doses than 20mg.

  • Hi denny-g,

    I had cataract operation when I was at 8mg, and mine was certainly attributed to Pred, but I did start at 80mg. I always found it a bit ironic that the drug that saved the sight in my left eye (already lost right prior to diagnosis) then caused it's damage!

    I'm not sure whether they question the level of Pred particularly, nobody seemed that concerned, but obviously the surgeon does need to be aware.

    Yes it can deteriorate fairly quickly, mine did, but some people's take a lot longer, so maybe that is the effect of the Pred.

    You will be amazed at the difference once done, so hope it can be sooner rather than later.

  • I've had two cataracts removed and the difference to my eyesight is amazing. I've never been lower than 5mg pred for 16 years and cannot remember the exact dose I was on when I had the operations but like Dorset Lady I don't recall there being any anxiety about the dose (which was probably about 10mg).

  • I am having a cataract op in October - have been reducing from 80mg for years and now on 8mg. Had both hips replaced at 10mg - no problems.

  • I am having a cataract op next month and my surgeon advised he will operate under local anaesthetic so steroids are not an issue. I had another cataract op a few years back and that was before I was on steroids.

    Best of luck xo

  • Hi Denny, I had cataract operations on both eyes in September/October last year and at the time I was on 30mg - this didn't cause any problems at all. I think all cataract ops are now done under local and not general so it shouldn't cause a problem but make sure your surgeon is aware. The difference it has made to my eyesight is absolutely amazing - I know the thought of the op is daunting, I was terrified before the first one but felt nothing but excitement for the second one. The worst thing I can say about it is that it wasn't pleasant, but there was no pain and it was all over within 20 minutes. Good luck. Gill

  • I asked that question of my Rhematolgist last week. Been on Prednisone since April 2014 starting on 40, got down to 3 then back up and now on 10mgms. I had a small cataract before but now my left eye is much worse.

    The Rhematolgist confirmed what others in the Forum are saying, it's better to be off them but not impossible and ad she says some people are on steroids for life.

    Everyone who has had them done says they are life changing.

    Good luck

  • Many many thanks for all your replies,it has helped me get my head around it all.Sometimes with every thing that is going on it all becomes overwhelming and for a second you just get a feeling that you can,t cope.It has been brilliant finding this site and all the knowledge that comes with it from you all So once again many many thanks

  • Same thing happened to me. Full blown cataracts in both eyes - developed very quickly while on pred. Was still on pred when first eye was done and then second eye 4 mos. later. I was considered legally blind and couldn't drive until I had the operation. Very successful - now have 20-20 vision and I'm turning 80 in Oct. I was still at 20 mg. pred and trying to taper. That was 2012. I had a flare in 2015 and back on pred for 1 yr. Now at 0 mg and feeling fine but I know that the monster can raise its head at any time. Take care of yourself and have the surgery.

  • Hi Denny, Had right eye cataract surgery three weeks ago and have been on 34 mg for past month. Dr. told me to stay on that till after the surgery then to try and start cutting back again. I am doing great I see great it went very well pray that yours does too.

  • thanks casse,it all sounds really positive ,the only problem here is how long you wait for an appointment then the wait for surgery apparently is horrendous.So think I will need binoculars at the end ,to see my way across the room .

  • The sooner you start...

    There has been an edict recently that patients are to be "done" as soon as they are handicapped by their loss of vision...

  • Oh Denny that is terrible, will put u in my prayer jar. Not sure where u r? I'm in NJ. R u having both eyes done at same time.?I wanted to do cataract eye fist to make sure healed ok and Sept. 6 Get laser on other eye. Did u tell your Dr how bad it is ask/beg to get done sooner? Mine was postponed from Feb. as my blood work was bad. Hope they can schedule it soon, hang in there. 🙏

  • thanks casse,I live in dorset uk.We are off to France for 7 weeks in a motorhome,so am not going to worry about any of it ,will keep monitoring for a flare,have great husband!Hope all goes well with your laser treatment ,will be in touch when i get back and let you know how things are progressing

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