Question: What are steroid eyedrops, how do they work and what are the risks/benefits of using them?
Answer: The steroid eye drops are interesting because we talked about inflammation being one of the components in dry eye syndrome. The gold standard in how they control inflammation in the eye are steroid eye drops. So you would think that we would use those quite a bit.
However, there are side effects from steroid eye drops and so they have to be used very carefully and on a short term basis. They do a great job of removing the inflammation and for short term help dry eye quite a bit. But it's really weeks and months at the most. If you go longer, the side effects include causing the pressure of the eye to go up, which can cause glaucoma damage. And it has a cumulative effect so over a period of months it can even cause cataracts. So your eye doctors may use this but only for a short period of time to get things under control and then find a treatment plan that stabilizes things and manages it long term.