Long-term steroid use is a risk factor for the development of cataracts and glaucoma.

Preventive steps you can take to help protect your eyes from cataracts include not smoking and reducing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses (rated UV 400) and a hat with a wide brim. Both smoking and UV radiation contribute to the risk of cataracts.

Be sure to see your eye doctor regularly so that he or she can monitor your eyes for the development of cataracts. Regular eye exams are also your best protection against glaucoma.

During the exam, the eye doctor will check for increased pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP). When IOP is too high, it can damage the optic nerve and harm your vision. Effective treatment, typically glaucoma eyedrops, can lower IOP.

Publication Review By: Peter B. Terry, M.D., M.A.

Published: 20 Jun 2013

Last Modified: 20 Jun 2013