What You Need To Know About Ocular Steroids

16 June 2021
 Categories: Health & Medical , Blog


Steroids are often seen as a negative thing, especially in athletes, but they can be very useful when it comes to pain and symptom relief.

What Are Steroids?

There are two different categories of steroids: anabolic steroids and corticosteroids. Anabolic steroids are the type of steroids that are used by athletes to improve their performance. Corticosteroids are used to help alleviate pain and inflammation. Steroids are simply hormone chemicals created by man.

What Are Ocular Steroids?

Ocular steroids are a type of corticosteroid that is made to target treatment around the eye. These steroids can come in the form of a gel, ointment, or eye drops. 

How Do Ocular Steroids Work?

Ocular steroids make their way through the body until they can enter the nucleus. This is where they will bind with your DNA which can help create more protein in the body. The steroids can also produce something called lipocortin, which is a type of protein that has anti-inflammatory effects.

What Do Ocular Steroids Do?

Ocular steroids are used to treat symptoms, such as inflammation, redness, swelling, pain, and irritation.

What Conditions Do Ocular Steroids Help Treat?

It is possible to receive ocular steroid treatment to treat pain and symptoms of many eye-related conditions. Some conditions include dry eye, eye redness, rosacea, itchy eye, cyclitis, seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, and diabetic macular edema.

What Else Can Ocular Steroids Do?

Ocular steroids are also commonly used after an eye injury or eye surgery to alleviate the effects. After having surgery done on your eye, your doctor may prescribe some postoperative ocular steroids to help tame the side effects from the surgery. 

What Are the Risks of Ocular Steroids?

Like many other treatments, ocular steroids do have some risk factors. Taking ocular steroids can cause you to:

  • Become susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections
  • Have delayed healing
  • Have stinging or burning in your eyes
  • Experience an unusual taste in the mouth
  • Have diabetes-related symptoms 
  • Develop glaucoma

Pros versus Cons


  • Alleviate pain and swelling
  • Ointment and gel are easy
  • Treats many conditions
  • Recommended by doctors
  • Treats postoperative symptoms
  • Almost immediate pain relief
  • High success rate
  • Can permanently cure symptoms and pain


  • Can have side effects
  • Long-term use is not recommended
  • Symptoms and pain can return after stopping treatment

Are Ocular Steroids Worth the Risk?

Though it is important to discuss ocular steroid treatment with your own doctor, as they will know your medical history, ocular steroid treatment has had many great results. Most doctors will recommend ocular steroid treatment after most eye surgeries or traumas due to its track record.