Steroid induced glaucoma pathophysiology

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol . 2006 Apr;96(4):514-25.
Concerns about intranasal corticosteroids for over-the-counter use: position statement of the Joint Task Force for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Bielory L, Blaiss M, Fineman SM, Ledford DK, Lieberman P, Simons FE, Skoner DP, Storms WW; Joint Task Force of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Source
Department of Medicine, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA.
Abstract
The Joint Task Force for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology was charged with formulating a position paper regarding the potential release of intranasal corticosteroids for over-the-counter use. We took the position that safety issues regarding this proposal would be our sole concern. We reviewed the literature to evaluate the frequency and severity of potential adverse events related to the administration of intranasal corticosteroids. We limited this review to 5 areas: (1) effects on growth, (2) ocular effects, (3) effects on bone, (4) effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and (5) local adverse effects. After review of the available data, we concluded that intranasal corticosteroids should remain prescription-only drugs. Patients receiving an intranasal corticosteroid should be instructed in its use and that use should be monitored by a physician or an appropriately trained medical provider (eg, nurse practitioner or physician assistant) under the direct supervision of a physician. This conclusion was reached based on the evidence that corticosteroids administered by any route, including the intranasal route, have the potential to cause adverse effects in all the areas noted herein. Our conclusion was strengthened by the fact that these adverse effects can be insidious and therefore not evident for many years; there is the potential for overuse; patients could also have access to other forms of topically administered corticosteroids, thus increasing their total dose; and individuals vary in their susceptibility to corticosteroid-induced adverse effects. We were also influenced to take this position knowing that generally reassuring data regarding the use of respiratory tract-administered corticosteroids are based on mean data and that all such studies have shown outliers in whom adverse effects were evident. Thus, as stated, we recommend that intranasal corticosteroids remain prescription-only drugs.

"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. Why elimination or suppression of the symptom is NOT the same as elimination of the disease . 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

Toxic glaucoma is open angle glaucoma with an unexplained significant rise of intraocular pressure following unknown pathogenesis. Intraocular pressure can sometimes reach 80 mmHg (11 kPa). It characteristically manifests as ciliary body inflammation and massive trabecular o edema that sometimes extends to Schlemm's canal. This condition is differentiated from malignant glaucoma by the presence of a deep and clear anterior chamber and a lack of aqueous misdirection. Also, the corneal appearance is not as hazy. A reduction in visual acuity can occur followed neuroretinal breakdown.

If you have routine examinations and you develop glaucoma, the chances of serious vision loss from glaucoma are very remote. However, late detection or non-compliance may result in vision loss. One may think of glaucoma being analogous to a house on the beach. If a house is in good shape and is hit by a series of storms, then the house will survive the storms with little damage (high eye pressure with a healthy nerve). However, if the foundation of the house has been damaged by previous storms there is a significant chance that the house will either be further damaged or swept away by the storm (a damaged nerve can not take the excess pressure from glaucoma). Thus, the key to preserving vision is early detection with aggressive treatment. The chronic, progressive nature of the disease makes it difficult for the patient to faithfully take their medication - the key to preserving vision.

The second major complication is a steroid related rise in eye pressure, also known as being a "steroid responder".  This usually requires at least 2 weeks of continuous steroid use, and is reversible if the steroid is discontinued.  The rise in pressure can be very high but if often asymptomatic.  It may be more common in people already being treated for glaucoma. If a person has glaucoma or has a history of steroid related eye pressure problems, they should consult with an ophthalmologist for monitoring of eye pressure if steroid treatment is being contemplated.

The most common side effect of topical corticosteroid use is skin atrophy. All topical steroids can induce atrophy, but higher potency steroids, occlusion, thinner skin, and older patient age increase the risk. The face, the backs of the hands, and intertriginous areas are particularly susceptible. Resolution often occurs after discontinuing use of these agents, but it may take months. Concurrent use of topical tretinoin (Retin-A) % may reduce the incidence of atrophy from chronic steroid applications. 30 Other side effects from topical steroids include permanent dermal atrophy, telangiectasia, and striae.

Steroid induced glaucoma pathophysiology

steroid induced glaucoma pathophysiology

If you have routine examinations and you develop glaucoma, the chances of serious vision loss from glaucoma are very remote. However, late detection or non-compliance may result in vision loss. One may think of glaucoma being analogous to a house on the beach. If a house is in good shape and is hit by a series of storms, then the house will survive the storms with little damage (high eye pressure with a healthy nerve). However, if the foundation of the house has been damaged by previous storms there is a significant chance that the house will either be further damaged or swept away by the storm (a damaged nerve can not take the excess pressure from glaucoma). Thus, the key to preserving vision is early detection with aggressive treatment. The chronic, progressive nature of the disease makes it difficult for the patient to faithfully take their medication - the key to preserving vision.

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