Long-term Oral Steroid Users at Higher Risk for Ocular Hypertension

Long-term steroid use, especially in patients of younger age, can put patients at increased risk for ocular hypertension.

Patients with a long-term history of oral steroid use have a higher risk of steroid-induced ocular hypertension (OHT) compared with nonusers, according to findings presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 annual meeting, held in Chicago from September 30 to October 3. Researchers also established age as a risk factor, suggesting that long-term oral steroid users with younger age should be monitored for OHT regularly.  

The findings come from a study conducted to compare the risk of steroid-induced OHT with long-term oral steroid user. The researchers also sought to investigate the risk factors that contribute to OHT. They compared the intraocular pressure (IOP) of 690 oral steroid users (1380 eyes) with that of 1539 nonsteroidal users (3074 eyes) and reviewed patients demographic information, steroid type, dosage and duration. 

The results of the study show the mean IOPs for steroid users and nonusers were 14.20±3.72 mm Hg and 13.50±3.60 mm Hg, respectively. The ratio of OHT in these groups were 5.14% and 0.46%, respectively (P <.001). 

The researchers report no correlation between OHT and type of steroid, duration of steroid use, or cumulative dose, meaning that these were not determined to be risk factors of OHT. However, the presenters did discover younger age is a significant risk for steroid-induced OHT (P =.002). The study authors recommend that younger patients who use steroids should be monitored frequently for OHT


Cho H, Kim EK, Bae H, Kim CY, Choi W. Steroid use and risk factors for increased iop in adult patients. Poster presented at: The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 annual meeting; September 30-October 3; Chicago. PO136