Study Finds no Link between Steroid Inhalers and Cataract Risk

After three children enrolled in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) developed posterior subcapsular cataracts (one requiring surgical correction), several members of the CAMP population were evaluated for cataracts to determine if inhaled steroids increased a childs risk of developing cataracts early. This was in addition to the 4-6 year follow-up of the CAMP study itself. Of the 232 children evaluated, 16 had cataracts and 12 had posterior cataracts. However, there was no difference in the incidence in cataracts between the group receiving inhaled corticosteroids and the control group (which received no treatment).

Researchers say that the current study did not rule out a connection, but it certainly casts doubt on a possible connection, and, at least, shows that any increased risk of cataracts from inhaled corticosteroid use must be relatively small. Previous studies have shown a significant connection between steroid use and the development of cataracts, but mostly in older patients, aged 49 and older.

To learn more about cataracts, please contact an ophthalmologist in your area today.