I have just been on a round of oral prednisone (12 days, tapered dose) that my doctor prescribed me for a severe eczema flare-up. I took the last dose 2 days ago.
My eyesight is bad, but my contact prescription has not changed over the past 4 years. Over the last 3 days, I have noticed a slight blurring in the vision of my left eye, which comes and goes over the course of the day.
I know that secondary glaucoma can be a side-effect of prednisone, which is what I assume is happening here. My question is whether I can expect it to go away, or if I need to see an eye doctor about this. If it may go away on its own, how long should I wait?
In my opinion, the chances of you having developed secondary glaucoma from a short term round of prednisone are very slim and the symptoms you're describing do not really fit glaucoma. .
Typically, with at least the most common form of glaucoma, there really are no symptoms at all, until the disease is well advanced (very unlikely that it would have gotten to this point after a short round of meds, unless you already had it) - and then usually one of the first visual symptoms is losing your peripheral (side) vision.
The actual testing for glaucoma requires a measurement of your eye pressure by an eye doctor.
The blurriness you're experiencing could still possibly be related to the course of steroids (although still not very likely) - in that use of prednisone can raise blood sugar and elevated blood sugar can cause blurred vision, although usually in both eyes, not just one. There's also a slight chance that you may have developed an infection in that affected left eye - prednisone can and does lower your resistance to infections - but again, usually with an eye infection you will have more drastic blurring - not just periodically throughout the day - and eye pain.
My first suggestion would be, since you say you're a contact lens wearer and I'm presuming they are disposable contacts (only presuming that because most contacts nowadays ARE disposable), that you throw out the pair of contacts that you are currently wearing and start with a fresh pair to see if that makes any difference. It could simply be that inadvertently you have gotten something on your contact that, at times during the day, enters the field of vision, making it seem like your vision is blurry.
I've been on prednisone many times in my life and quite often at high doses and for long periods of time, so I do have quite a bit of experience with its side effects. I have had increased eye pressure before when on the prednisone, but that has been after either a lengthy dosing timeframe or a high dose of the med. My eye pressures have always gone back to normal after getting off the prednisone even though glaucoma runs very highly in my family (my grandfather went blind fromit and my dad has a pretty bad case of it). Teh amount of time that it has taken for my pressures to go back to normal after getting off the prednisone have varied, depending on how long I had been on it and at how high of a dose. I would think that, if indeed your eye pressure is elevated, and it is because of the prednisone (again, in my opinion this is unlikely unless you already had glaucoma) - with the short term round that you were on, your symptoms should improve in a week or so.
It's always a good idea, however, whenever you experience a change in vision, to check in with your eye doctor.
Wow - thanks so much for the detailed reply. I could indeed be totally paranoid about this (it's been a difficult couple of months health-wise), so I will definitely try a new pair of contacts before anything else. Thanks again!
Welcome to the MedHelp forum!
Actually a 12 day course should not cause secondary glaucoma but since blurred vision developed on use of steroids, it is better to get this examined by an eye specialist. Apart from glaucoma blurred vision can also be due to refractive errors (near or far sightedness), diabetes, retinal detachment, optic stroke, infection or injury to eye, migraines, floaters, brain tumors, temporal arteritis or due to bleeding into the eye.
It is best not to ignore this. Take care!
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