Cataract on back of my lens caused by steroids - PMRGCAuk


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Cataract on back of my lens caused by steroids


Hi everyone. Had my annual eye check yesterday (only 55 myself but my mother has glaucoma) to find I have developed a steroid-induced cataract on the back of my left lens. I have been struggling with night driving. Should I consider an op. sooner or later as I am still working! Would appreciate advice from anyone who has suffered this side effect. Optician explained steroid-induced cataracts are more aggressive and develop in months. Thanks to all you super people in advance!!

22 Replies

Me too! I’m 55 and found out last week. Both eyes. Had been turning on lights more often but disliking night driving. Mine said I could be severely impaired in 6 months or 6 years as they are unpredictable but generally more aggressive. I didn’t think to ask until I got home whether there is any point in getting them done until there is no more Pred (if that happens) so they don’t just grow back. Meanwhile practicing doing things with my eyes shut, which is probably a bit dramatic but I like to feel prepared.

GOOD_GRIEF in reply to SnazzyD

Just so you know, cataracts don't grow back. Sometimes, there's a film that develops on the implanted lens. It's removed in a few moments with a laser. That happens to some folks without regard as to whether they have taken or are taking pred.

SnazzyD in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

Feeling better already. Will get on to the GP. Thanks.

GOOD_GRIEF in reply to SnazzyD

Honestly, I was terrified myself before the first op. I didn't know what to expect, as I had never had any kind of an operation at all.

It's easier and faster then getting your teeth cleaned, though they my keep you around for a while afterwards to have the anesthetic wear off.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to SnazzyD

Once they are removed they can't grow back, the lens is replaced. As GG says - there can be this other problem but that doesn't always happen.

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Ask your optometrist to write to GP to get a referral to Eye Dept at hospital, unless it can be done directly by him, but I have a feeling it has to go through GP.

It will then be assessed by an Ophthamologist, who will advise. Waiting times depend on severity of cataract, your personal circumstances and, of course, resources! But it can always be done privately if that’s appropriate.

But you need to get in the system first.

Good luck.

I had each of my cataract operations, both in the early morning, and was home answering emails without my glasses by late afternoon. A remarkable transformation.

In an abundance of caution, I scheduled each operation for a Friday so I had the weekend to relax. Went back to the office on Monday wearing snazzy new sun glasses, and I still wear them regularly. I opted to have implants that mimicked my old vision, needing glasses to read fine print for long periods, but not needing them for driving or walking around.

No pain at all. Avoided bending over for a few weeks. The most important things to do are to take your meds and eye drops as prescribed, wear the patch when sleeping to keep you from rubbing your eye, and keep your hands clean so if you do rub your eye in forgetfulness, you're less likely to introduce any infection. Don't go swimming but you can shower. Just try to keep your eye mostly out of the water, but there shouldn't be much of a issue if you manage to get water or shampoo in your eye. Once you're done with the meds, you're good as new. Or better.

If you have any discomfort or redness at all, immediately call your doctor or go the the ER, just in case. Don't be shy about it.

More than 5 years on now, I still send Christmas cards and post cards when traveling to the doctor's office where they perform miracles.


More depends on the local policy as to when - but when you get there, you need the op. There is a lady on the forum who has been told that the rate at which her posterior cataracts are developing she will be blind in less than 6 months. This is the US - but the op will be done soon once her funding is sorted out. In the UK - you need to get into the system.

Good advice all round. If you tend to be allergic to things you may develop red eyes and discomfort caused by the drops. Tell the doctor and you'll get a different kind of drops. Happened to both my husband and his mother.

Dear cmj33g,

I developed Cataracts, as a result of Medication, many years ago. The Operation, is not Painful, but perhaps a little 'uncomfortable'. This is what, you can, expect.

You will be seen, to Measure your eyes, a few weeks before the main Operation- generally speaking, at this point, you are given the date of the op. On the day, of the Operation, you will be Booked In then taken to the Outpatients/Day Surgery unit. (each Hospital has, it's own, system). I was sat in a, type of, reclining chair. After a time, I can't remember exactly, how long now, I was begun on, Two alternating sorts, of eye drops. One Stung, the other did not. The Stinging one, was a 'Disinfectant', the other Dilated (made the Pupal Bigger) the eye. After some time, I was told that the Surgery would not be long and, at that point was given some VERY Stingy drops. (these apparently 'Numbed' the eye.)

Once down, in the Operating Theatre, and after my Details were 'Checked', yet again (mind you, don't knock that) a cover was put over the 'Other' eye. (the one NOT being Operated on.) The Chair, that I was sitting in, was then reclined. I was then only, very vaguely, aware of 'Things' happening, to your eye. Was that an Injection? Was Something removed? Was there some Pressure? I saw Swirling Pools, of colour, on the first eye and, sort of, Colour Tinged Puddles on the second. All rather 'Not Real' and Strange. Through the other eye, I could see the green covering, and just maybe some movement beyond. Don't worry this is NOT, in any way, a bad experience and will be over 'Before You Know It'. You then have to wear, an eye patch, for the rest of the day. The 'Revelation'/ Wow Moment, when you first remove, that patch, the following amazing!

Post Operative, you are given, both Eye Drops, told how- and when- to apply them. You also have to wear a plastic cover, over the eye, at night- for the first week- and MOST IMMPORTANT don't rub the eye! You will then be seen, as an Out Patient, a few weeks later to check Progress. I was told that I could Finish, the Drops, in another week, though this, can change, from Person to person. Well that, was MY experience, of Cataract Surgery. Talking to, other people, it seems that my experience is 'Fairly Typical'. (Though, to be fair, one lady, did complain, about the Angle of the reclining chair.)

Overall a, pretty good, experience with a VERY GOOD/ WONDERFUL outcome. If you have any further questions, please do 'Feel Free', to contact me.

Kindest wishes


SnazzyD in reply to AndrewT

I’ll keep this to remind myself because frankly the thought of having my eyes operated on gives me the willies. My father-in-law had his done but during the second one the preloaded lens broke in half in situ. Took 6 months of misery, mostly mine, before his stitches could be removed. But I guess as with all things, there are some that do well and a few who don’t but you have to plough your own furrow.

clieder in reply to SnazzyD

My opthalmologist explained to me that the drugs used tell the brain to forget the experience of the actual surgery. No time to get willies as it is over in a flash as if it never happened. Agree that aftercare is very important. The only thing I had trouble with was not bending from the waste (keep your eye above your heart) as I have three dogs and they always need something at floor level! Got the squat, not bend, down pat.

AndrewT in reply to clieder

Dear clieder,

I'm non too sure, quite what, your Ophthalmologist, is Meaning, here. I must surely, have had, the same Drugs, as you, and yet my Memory is still 'fairly intact'. I may not recall, absolutely Every Detail, but certainly MOST of it. Sorry but, I find this, very 'Strange'- can you explain, His/ Her meaning, further please?

Kindest wishes a, somewhat Confused,


clieder in reply to AndrewT

I, too, remember (or think I remember) most of the procedure, but his explanation was about negative feelings after the fact in light of having the other eye's cataract removed in the future. He just said, "Your brain will not let you remember the bad stuff." For example, I do not remember any object moving closer to my eye or having any sense of it being close enough to touch it. By contrast, I had a stye lanced once and I remember every moment and the proximity of the instrument vividly. I am in the US and was given IV medication for the cataract surgery much the same as for colonoscopy or endoscopy. (Those also seem to go much faster and without incidence for me, so maybe I am just lulled out more than some folks.)

AndrewT in reply to clieder

An interesting answer clieder and one, that clearly does make sense, to you. I DO however remember, 'things' going Near To- and even into- my eye. As I said, in my recollections, the Memories seem a little Etheric....but I DO remember them. I wonder, without being- at all- 'Funny with you'- if your Ophthalmologist was perhaps 'Tailoring' an answer for you personally. By the way I, have had, an Endoscopy and can remember that, quite well, too. Even, to the level, of it being 'rather uncomfortable', when they reached the Transverse Colon. Perhaps it's just a personal 'Thing', perhaps it's just because it was- far less- painful than some Other Procedures that I have had. Perhaps, I just have a Good/ Retentive memory…...Yes Perhaps!

Either way, my experience(es) do seem, somewhat different, to yours clieder. It's 'Strange', the way, the Brain/ Mind works isn't it? anyway, we won't 'Dwell', to much, on that. Thank you for, taking the time, to, try anyway, to explain what, your, Ophthalmologist, was On About. It's still rather 'lost on me', I'm afraid. Very best wishes anyway.


PMRproAmbassador in reply to AndrewT

There are medications that prevent you being aware of how awful something is at the time and you don't form memories of it in the same way. They are often used for patients undergoing chemotherapy - they aren't 100% effective, my husband still remembers the worst experiences slightly, but nothing like to the extent it would have been without them.

cmj33g in reply to AndrewT

Thank you for your detailed response, Andy and to everyone else who has spent the time to reply. You are all great!

Megams in reply to AndrewT

~Great verbatim Andrew T, thank you - prepares me for when my turn comes ~

dartmoorlass in reply to AndrewT

Thanks for your comprehensive and reassuring account Andrew. You've put my mind at rest for when my turn comes which my optician tells me is getting nearer.

I feel for you. I noticed this almost immediately I was put on predisolone. It cost me to keep on having to have my glasses changed. You don't say if you wear glasses. The cataracts just keep growing. Unfortunately they do not go away. The operation is painless and only takes about twenty minutes. The cataracts cannot regrow.

You will be so pleased when it is done. Good luck and enjoy your new vision.

I have been on steroids for 4.5 years. I was told about two years ago that I have cataracts. I had an eye test yesterday and I asked about them. The man doing the eye test told me I have the ones at the back of the eye caused by steroids but they are barely noticeable. I believe they have to be ripe before removed. He said that he had sat in on many cataract operations and it only took 20 minutes.

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