In other cases, steroid and cortisone drops have been used to treat eye infections, causing serious corneal ulceration; besides impairment of vision, this also caused disfigurement.
The side effects of these eye drugs have been well documented. In l975 T. F. Schlaegel reported to the American Academy of Ophthalmology that the use of corticosteroids can cause serious eye disturbances, some of which have caused blindness, including optic nerve changes, swelling of the optic nerve head, changes in the crystalline lens and myopia. There have also been reports in the literature about patients treated with steroids for arthritis developing cataracts, and patients using steroids to relieve discomforts caused by contact lenses subsequently developing cataract or glaucoma. Other reported side effects include extensive and irreversible retinal damage, corneal perforation necessitating corneal transplants, increase in intra ocular tension in glaucoma patients, swelling of the optic disc, and other eye disturbances.
Dangers of Laser Eye Treatments
The latest innovation to treat eye problems which has received a good deal of press is the laser. It is now used to treat retinal detachment, diabetic retinitis, macular degeneration and glaucoma. In every instance, its use destroys that part of the eye on which the laser is directed.
In the case of retinal detachment, although the laser will attach the retina to the chorid (a membrane in the eye near the retina) so as to prevent it from falling forward, the patient will have blind zones in the visual field resulting from the adhesions created by the laser even in what appears to be a successful operation. There is also evidence that the laser itself can bring on cataract. If such a powerful light beam is directed through the cornea, lens and vitreous, which takes place in the laser techniques, there is a great risk of causing damage to these transparent components. If the laser is too strong, for instance, both cataract and corneal burns result.