Eyes and blurred vision

I am worried about my deteriorating vision. Am tapering between 3 and 4 mgs successfully but am getting double vision ( very noticeable when driving) and blurred vision at times. As a graphic designer, looking at a screen all day with this is frustrating. Changed my optician who told me I had variable vision and slight cataract or something and gave me herbal pills for the floaters. Not worked. Is this pred effect and will my normal vision return when off it?

38 Replies

  • Hello Kezzy

    Our vision can still be blurry from time to time, even at the lower doses. However, "deteriorating vision" may not be solely due to the steroids at this low dose but simply to the cataract or a combination of the cataract/steroids and "looking at a screen all day" with your graphic design work.

    I experienced blurred vision, probably due to a combination of both Pred and GCA, plus I also use Glaucoma drops for high eye pressures, but whereas I had almost perfect vision prior to diagnosis, my vision did deteriorate during the next few years of treatment, but very fortunately with no actual loss of vision from GCA as experienced by a few very unlucky patients.

    Do you ensure that you take frequent breaks away from the screen during your work, especially to look into the far distance to exercise and relax the eyes? If it were me, I would be seeking reassurance and a possible expert answer to your last question from a good ophthalmologist rather than solely an optician if still concerned as, unfortunately, we aren't equipped to answer that question here. Good luck and do come back and let us know how you get on.

  • Thanks Celtic. I am getting concerned about this and feel new prescriptions every 6 months is not the answer. I may ask doc about ophthalmologist referral if that is the way to see one. I seem to be getting referrals for everything with PMR at the moment! Doc will be getting fed up with me and my demands!!!

  • Hello kezzybabes.. l have just been going through the same as you and l have had a lot of headaches as well as the Blurred Vision and a pain in the left eye . I have had a thorough eye test this week and my optician is PMR/GCA aware and l have been told that l have a cataract behind the left eye but to small to operate on, but he insisted that l mentioned it at my GP's Appointment on Monday .. lve already got eye drops from my GP because it's been bothering me for a while.. The optician was amazed at my Long Distance Vision in that eye though .l hope all goes well for you and that you seek more advice ..l have to pick up 2new pairs of glasses this coming week.. Best wishes trish29

  • Yes Trish I am tempted to get yet another new prescription. I just hope it at least doesn't get worse when I stop pred. Who knows though?

  • I was referred to ophthalmologist for precisely this. My gp put me on a much higher dose of of pred as a precaution in case it was gca. Ophthalmologist decided that the cause was almost definitely cataracts that the pred had accelerated but also asked me to stay on higher dose of pred until blood tests results.By this time due to lower resistance to infection I had an antibiotic resistance chest infection and ended up in hospital. I am still tapering trying to get back to the previous pred level.

    ophthalmologist also mentioned that cataracts make the eyes unstable with a need to change prescriptions often

  • Thanks for that. I'll definitely get another prescription sorted.

  • I really have to ration myself reading and using the computer screen, or TV screen or I get unbearable eye strain, almost as if my eyes could burst. My diagnosis is PMR, I also have signs of an early cataract that doesn't seem to excite anyone ( but it appalls me). My Paternal grandmother went blind with cataract ( before surgery was so skilled) and my maternal great grandmother lost her sight through a tumour and is sanctified by family history - don't think I'd be so graceful. I have had lots of exploratory tests, fearing GCA, as must you!

    Otherwise we just have to look after our precious eyesight in every way we can. This must be a great worry for you given your career. You need to get creative to save your eyes.

  • Very disconcerting when blurred vision occurs. I have been told to get eyes tested to see if causing headache when it was dmard causing it. I am holding off getting tested until pred finished or at least stabilised . At moment I feel that on any given day I could get new prescription and spend gazillions on new glasses. I do a lot of cross eyed exercises and try to look up and away from any screens for a while. Hope it starts to clear a bit.

  • Oh I'll try the cross eyed exercise! Will give colleagues in office a laugh if anything!

  • Yes like you I'm worried by what is almost a disregard of my cataract by professionals! Maybe I'm being over anxious!

  • These are our eyes. I think we experience a lot of insidious ageism and sexism from the medical profession. We need to be alert for it and make sure we get the best treatment we can.

  • Herbal pills for floaters??????? I think you are with the wrong optician/optometrist!

    Where are you?

  • Cost a fortune.... ☹️

  • I'm in Edinburgh. Pills are called vitro cap

  • I'm sure there are very good opticians in Edinburgh - don't know any though - although my daughter seemed quite happy with hers and that will just be the other end of the bridge.

    However, if you feel like a trip to Blairgowrie there is an outstanding one there who won't tell you rubbish nor rip you off! He studied in Aberdeen and continued with research until he realised he was staggering from one grant to the next while his peers were turning over £100K. So he started an optician's practice, promising himself to indulge his passions in the form of fancy equipment! I sent a friend from Tayport there after she'd been told a load of whatever by an optician and she is delighted. George's wife has UCTD - an autoimmune disorder too - so he is very aware of autoimmune disorders and their effects. Look for Clelland and Boyd, 61 High St. I used to travel from Durham to go to him - that's how good I think he is.

  • Wow that's a long way for an appointment - over 3 hours drive - but as you say could be worth it. This new optician I am seeing also came highly recommended and is passionate about eyes but just felt disappointed on leaving with a box of expensive herbal pills. I shall go back and ask more questions next time. I shall prepare!!!!

  • I have to confess to combining it with a visit to offspring! But Blair 3 hours from you - unless you are at the Berwick end and the bypass is being a carpark. Rosyth to Blair is under an hour. And it's a lovely day out ;-)

  • You are right! Blairgowrie is just north of Perth which is an hour away- duh! That is more attractive to visit now. Pretty place Blairgowrie. I enjoyed a few lovely walks up there. Bit further for you to travel to if you are in Italy now!

  • Too true! I did keep going to him until after we moved here. But I don't use contacts any more so it doesn't really matter - as long as I can see I can't be bothered to change specs - too darn expensive! I see the eye specialist every so often - only way to get eye pressures checked when on pred - and they tell me if the prescription is still OK.

    But if you do give him a go - tell him I sent you!

  • Yes I will!!

  • I had blurry vision for a few weeks now gone but ended up in A&E with flashes and floaters ....consultant there confirmed no damage and no cataracts although previous consultant said I did have early stages but that no-one would touch my eyes I guess it's because of steroids all very confusing. Still get occasional floaters but don't get so panicky now. I take eye drops for dry sore eyes .... might get another opinion ....also driving my Doc mad with all these referrals.... ! I do have GCA so do get worried with new symptoms.

  • The previous consultant probably didn't want any bother! Loads of people have loads of things done despite being on pred - but you will always find the odd doctor who says no. If one says no - it is always worth shopping around and getting another opinion.

  • I had the same thing. Went to Opthamologist at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC. She said it was from the inflammation (I had very high blood markers) and said it would go away when inflammation is gone. She said to use a patch for driving which helps. Still have blurred vision especially when I drive with improved blood markers.

  • 😎

  • I've got pmr was on steroids prednisolone for 12 months caused cataracts in both eyes waiting for op on them came off steroids in Jan but it's come back told doc I wasn't having steroids anymore put me on naproxen it has eased the pain but not completely but won't have steroids ruined quality of my life

  • Please don't imagine that Naproxen has no side effects - like all NSAIDs it also carries risks. Although is he sure it is PMR as NSAIDs rarely help even though it used to be suggested to manage "mild" PMR.

    The unmanaged inflammation of PMR managed to ruin my quality of life - I was immobile and reliant on my car: if I couldn't drive there and not have to walk I couldn't go. I was in constant pain and comfort ate so that combined with not being able to exercise led to weight gain. I was in constant pain and unable to do many things - and became depressed. Pred gave me my life back.

    I would welcome cataracts - I could get rid of one pair of specs! Once they are dealt with you won't get them back so you needn't worry about that aspect. But it isn't a case of pred bad, no pred good - the unmanaged inflammation raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases in the future and even some forms of cancer.

    I'm not saying this to try to scare you - I'm putting forward the other side of the argument.

  • I had a gastric bleed from naproxen. Will never take it again. I use much maligned aspirin, very carefully, for occasional headache, and it does have a small beneficial effect on other aches and pains, including PMR, although I don't take it for anything but headache. Before diagnosis I always "enjoyed" that nice side effect when treating a headache! And for the record, Carolbentley, my pred dose is now at 1.5, still helping PMR but apparently no longer any side effects although I had several fairly serious ones requiring management early on. No cataracts, but nearly glaucoma was one of them.

  • Hi Kezzy,

    There is a very interesting article in this month's WDDTY magazine about eyesight and reversing the developement of cataracts. Well worth a read.

  • Oh I'll try and get that today! Thanks sennetta!

  • Hi kezzybabes, I've only just seen this thread and do sympathize with you. It's all very well your optician saying you have variable eyesight but you want to know why don't you? And, as you say.... will it improve once you're off the pred? I'm living in hope but in vain I think. My eyesight has been deteriorating for around a year now....I'm not very good on exact timings. But I paid out for 3 expensive pairs of specs in about 9 months. I am 2 years and 7 months down the line with my GCA. I had headaches, blurred vision, floaters, on a couple of occasions a shooting pain in my left eye AND.....I just couldn't see properly!! I decided to go to contacts as its easier to change the prescription, and my optician sent me to the eye hospital for tests. I had tests in January and again in March and I haven't seen a specialist yet.....that's coming up this Friday. My MRI scan showed no abnormality of the optic nerve but evidence of micro vascular disease. My scans gave apparently gone off to a neuro radiologist for a second opinion. Our eyesight is so precious its quite alarming when things start to go wrong. I also have a small cataract....too small for surgery. I currently have distance contact lenses, reading glasses, distance glasses and I use my old varifocals for computer work! I'm still on 9mg pred! Oh the joys hey? I'll see what they say this Friday.

  • Oh dear! You've gone through the rounds with your eyes? Yes I've got yet another appointment to get new contact lens prescription so hopefully I'll see better in a couple of weeks time but brings home how precious your eyesight really is.

  • Just a warning - I had to give up wearing contacts because of dry eyes which came along with PMR. I also had a bad reaction to the storage solution as a result so had to switch to dailies which were far less convenient and much more expensive.

  • I've got dry eyes too PMRpro, but I'm using some really good drops and actually putting them in the lens before I put it in my eye! I only use my lenses when it's really sunny!!!! .....not much of that at the mo!!! :-) And also when it's raining and I'm off to the football or out for a walk (stroll!!!).

  • What are the eye drops that you use?

  • They are called Hyabak. I get them from Boots. they're about £10 but they last for 3 months once opened.

  • I get Dry Eye Drops from Home Bargains for 99p and they should be used within 90 days of opening. They contain the same active ingredient as Hyabak - sodium hyaluronate, but they do contain PHMB, which I think is not in Hyabak. You can get similar on prescription in the UK, called HYLO-TEAR, which are preservative free and are to be discarded 6 months after opening (if 300 drops last that long!).

  • Thanks Rugger, I might try those. May look up what PHMB is tho first! :-)

  • I saw my contact lens man this morning and he's increased the power in one eye but I can still manage to shop without readers!! So I've been out and bought a £4 pair of readers for when I actually want to.....read!!! :-) Good luck with yours :-)

You may also like...