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Old 10-01-2007, 02:35 PM   #1
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cataracts?

Has anyone been warned of the relationship between cataracts and MS? I saw my Opthamologist today for a routine eye exam and to check out my general eye health and my Opthamologist sees the begining of a cataract! He says that MS patients are prone to this....he also wondered if the medication I take (rebif) might have anything to do with it.....I have checked, and have not found anything in the Rebif info which leads me to think its the drug....so, is it simply the disease, itself? Im only 40 years old...and have never had eye problems until a few years ago when I first started with my bouts of Optical Nueritis, and eventually my MS dx.
Just wondering if any of you have expereinced anything related...I was told it is nothing to worry about now, to see him in a year and call him if my vision changes..but this really threw me! I have an appt with my Neuro-Opth in November, maybe he can shed more light on this....
Nikki
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Old 10-01-2007, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: cataracts?

Not to my knowledge. From what I have read, the only thing is ON. My Doctor said that if I had eye problems, I would have to visit on a day when I was in good health so that my MS would not cause a misdiagnosis.

 
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Old 10-01-2007, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: cataracts?

Well Nikki, the only input I can offer is that my Mom is a kidney transplant recipient and requires many steriods for anti-rejection. She has had 2 cataracts removed and she was told it was from the steriods. How true, I don't know, I'm just telling you what she told me. 40 seems wayyyyyyyyyy too young for cataracts.

 
Old 10-01-2007, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: cataracts?

I'm also inclined to think that it's more likely related to medication, not the disease... Let us know what you find out!

Last edited by Bearygood; 10-01-2007 at 03:52 PM.

 
Old 10-01-2007, 03:54 PM   #5
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Re: cataracts?

I will let you all know what I find out, but right now, im not in any hurry to hear anything! I do have an appt in the beginning of Nov, and if nothing happens between now and then, Im not pursuing this until then....even then, he said it was "just the beginning" and it could take 10 years to get to the point where it needs to be addressed (removed). I just thought it was weired, too- so Id throw it out there...
And to think, all I wanted was new glasses/contacts! Does it ever end?
Nikki
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Old 10-01-2007, 04:41 PM   #6
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Re: cataracts?

Hi Nikki

I have had cataracts in both eyes. I had them removed when I was 34 years old. I have eye problems since the I was about 8 years old if not younger. I was not dx with ms until I was 46. It is true that steroids can cause cataracts, I use steroid eye drops 6 times a day. I cannot get them again from the steroids but I can get glaucoma from them. My neuro and my cornea and retina specialist talkedwith each other and they came to the conclusion that it was not related to my ms as I have had eye problems my whole life. It did make it seem as though you can get cataracts from ms or they would not have been discussing if my ms was related to my eye problems. I hope this is helpful to you.

hotflash

 
Old 10-01-2007, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: cataracts?

Hello Nikki,
I've had a slow-growing cataract for several years (more than ten years). Later came the diagnosis of ms, and then the injections. A recent episode of more-than-just-blurry vision occured, but the opthalmologist, aware of my mild ON and ms diagnosis says it is the cataract, as it was accompanied by no pain. I don't know whether one leads to the other, or exactly when the ms actually began, but I'm much older than you and know I have both. I'm keeping in mind what I've read on this board, that not everything is related to the ms. I have several relatives my age and older who have had cataracts and who have not had ms. Best wishes to you - I treasure reading your careful and always encouraging posts. Hope this one helps you

 
Old 10-01-2007, 05:49 PM   #8
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Re: cataracts?

hi hotflash and Pensandchalk-
Hotflash. Wow. thats really interesting...my doctor gave me some steroid drops, Alrex, for the minor ON which keeps affecting me and told me to use them twice a day, indefinately...do you think I should double check that info now that he has said cataract? He gave the drops to me before he actually saw the cataract developing...what you wrote has me wondering..
I too, have had some eye problems for years. I had a detached retina about 10 years ago, which they have no idea how it developed...Ive had ON so many times prior to my MS diagnsosis, that im wondering why they didnt dx me sooner...hmmm.
Pens-nchalk- thank you for what you wrote. Its nice to be appreciated! What you wrote also has me wondering ...its like what comes first, the chicken or the egg? You are right, not everything is related to MS, but we tend to think everything is if something out of the ordinary happens. This is definately out of the ordinary. Did you have the surgery to have them removed? Whats THAT like? or Dont I want to know?! I was terrified when I had my retina surgery..they had to hold me down to get me into the room...! Im not terribly afraid of pain or surgery, but my EYES are the one thing Im terrified of having worked on!

Thanks to both of you, you both helped!
Hugs
Nikki
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:48 PM   #9
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Re: cataracts?

Nikki,

My optho warned me about solu-medral use and the long taper offs.

When I researched the roids, cateracts and glaucomo were both side effects.

I don't blame ya I'd go kicking and screaming when it comes to the eyes.My ma just had both eyes done,she said the proceedure was a breeze.

 
Old 10-01-2007, 09:33 PM   #10
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Re: cataracts?

Hi Nikki

I wouldn't go off anything without talking to my dr first. I have had steroid injections in the back of my eyes also to keep the swelling down. After I had my solu medrol I was able to see better again. I would think it would take years (at least a few) of being on the drops to develop any cataracts. You obviously have some swelling in your eye and that is what they are treating you for. If I quit taking my drops my sight gets really bad and then I am on the drops longer. You also can get cataracts from the sun. So I would keep using the drops until you talk to your dr. I use pred forte, it's very strong drops. I had cataracts before I ever starting using the drops. So since I grew up in FLA I figured it was from being in the sun all the time. The cataract surgery was great. My vision went from 20/400 in both eyes to 20/30 after the surgery. Keep using the drops until you talk to your dr, he has a reason to keep you on them. Good luck to you and if you have any questions about your eyes feel free to ask me. My drs always tell me I have seen so many eye specialists that I can self dx

hotflash

 
Old 10-02-2007, 03:57 AM   #11
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Re: cataracts?

Hi Nikki,
No surgery for me yet - no doubt it is ahead. Timeline of growth has been slow to date; may it always be.Those I know who've had removal say it is effective and easier than they'd feared. I'm with you - eyes are very important and I treasure the ability to use them every day!

 
Old 10-02-2007, 05:20 AM   #12
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Re: cataracts?

okay gang, thanks for the advice and support! Hotflash, while I was there, I did order new glasses, which should be in in 10 days..when i go back to get them, Ill double check this, but int he meantime, stay on the drops! Sounds like you have really been thru it all! When/if the time comes to panic,Ill know who to shout out too!
Pens, Im with ya, I am dreading the idea of surgery, but its not something we can exactly ignore...maybe we can get a two for one deal? Thank you for being so reassuring!
Hugs to you all, have a great day.
Nikki
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Old 10-02-2007, 06:57 PM   #13
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Re: cataracts?

Hi Nikki

You don't need to panic if you have to have cataract surgery. It's very simple and usually takes 15 minutes and that's it. You will see how much better you will see and wonder why you were sooo worried. Did you know that if you don't have the cataract removed you can go blind after some years with it? So it is worth it in the long run. The reason the dr waits for a while to remove it is because they have to wait for it to be a certain size. That's what they told me when I had mine done. If I were you I would look up about cataracts and you will feel a lot better.

hotflash

 
Old 10-03-2007, 07:04 AM   #14
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Re: cataracts?

Thanks Hotflash. My dad also had both eyes done this summer, although he lives pretty far away and I wasnt able to see him, I spoke to him often and he really didnt complain much about the procedure. He is glad he got it done....Im just freaked. Ill get over it! And, im no where near ready for the surgery anyway, as far as the doctor said- so I really shouldnt be worried about this right now. BUt, thank you for being caring and trying to reassure me!
hugs
Nikki
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:14 AM   #15
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Re: cataracts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSNik View Post
Thanks Hotflash. My dad also had both eyes done this summer, although he lives pretty far away and I wasnt able to see him, I spoke to him often and he really didnt complain much about the procedure. He is glad he got it done....Im just freaked. Ill get over it! And, im no where near ready for the surgery anyway, as far as the doctor said- so I really shouldnt be worried about this right now. BUt, thank you for being caring and trying to reassure me!
hugs
Nikki
If your dad had cataracts then the steroids may be only coincidental or could catalyze the formation of cataracts. I would think that a control group case study would help with the steroid connection, but if your family history has cataracts, then it may or may not be related.

Just remember cataract surgery has been successful since Hammurabi. I hope you will do fine.

 
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