As sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis, we do all that we can to stop the pain we endure every day but there are those times when the pain get so bad we need help getting through our days.  There are the flares that make our pain unbearable so we look for what makes it easier through those tough times and for many of us it’s prednisone.

Yes, there are those times when our pain puts us down to the point where we are barely functional.  There are also some of us who deal with debilitating pain every day so we do whatever we have to do to make it through our days and nights.  For most of us we are offered prednisone which happens to work very well.  Some take it for short periods of time and others on long term basis.  This drug has its own side effects that makes us worry but there was one that I was surprised to find out about after the damage was done to me.  I have cataracts!

How much do you really know about predisone.  It is a corticosteroid, prescription needed and it’s used for many conditions but for us, it relieves our inflammation which helps our pain to subside.  It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation thus helping to do what we need it to do.  Though I personally never liked taking it, I did it when the pain got to be too much for me to handle but I never took it longer than a month.  As good as it works, the damage it can cause can be scary.

What I did not know is the damage it can cause to your eyes.  I knew about the other side effects but never knew it could cause “cataracts”.  To my surprise I have cataracts and it was caused by the use of prednisone.  Was I shocked to get this bit of news.  I remember going to the eye doctor last year and being informed I had cataracts and that was after a year of being perfectly fine with the exception of needing reading glasses.  It explained the double and blurry vision that I was experiencing along with terrifying nighttime driving that I hated but had no choice doing.  It also explained why I could hardly see any of the words that were on my television without being up close :).  I’m here to say, it has gotten worse and surgery is in my near future.

I wasn’t aware this was a side effect of using this medicine and I never saw it anywhere listed as one.  My doctor never mentioned it to me so I had no way of knowing there was a possibility of this happening.  It is true, cataract surgery is suppose to be a simple procedure but who wants their eyes operated on at all.  Would I have made the decision not use predisone had I known about this!  The truth is we go through so much trying to feel better and there’s risk with each medication we take, so we have to decide what is best for us in the long run.  It is hard knowing I have cataracts but I realize had I not been seeing my eye doctor regularly things could have gotten worse but I’m happy that I have a chance to fix my problem.

So my blog today is to let you know to get your eyes checked to make sure they are okay.  Don’t let cataracts or glaucoma slip up on you.  As we ride along this journey with Rheumatoid Arthritis, we shall endure many bumps and bruises that will make us stronger.  Be your own best advocate and take control of you.  I hope I have informed someone who did know as I didn’t know.  Thank you for stopping by.

Be Blessed.

photo credit:  pixabay