Many times, health conditions that are long-term or considered chronic, require treatment with some drugs known as steroids. Some are known as corticosteroids, and they have a fast effect and are commonly used to treat inflammation in many conditions such as arthritis, asthma, and many others. The effect on the body depend on the amount of time a person has been taking this type of medication. The longer, the more side-effects a person may experience. More doctors are aware of the long range effects of steroids and are being very careful when prescribing it as part of a course of treatment.
The steroids which body builders use fall under the category of anabolic steroids, and different from the other steroids mentioned here. Anabolic steroids are drugs that emulate or mimic the male sex hormone effects, and are androgenic and virilizing – in other words, they increase or build up cellular tissue, therefore, the more muscular appearance. Both types of steroids can have adverse side-effects.
One important side-effect is weight gain, another one is the development of cataracts and eyesight problems. Oral or inhaled steroids can cause cataracts. Cataracts cloud the natural lenses of the eye. People with cataracts experience blurred vision, light sensitivity, double vision, faded colors or yellowing of colors, and poor night vision. There are different types of cataracts. Cataract removal may require a surgical procedure to get rid of it – cataract laser surgery.
Cataract laser surgery is necessary when secondary cataracts or a clouding develops in the back of the lens, called posterior capsule opacification. This is a widely known and performed procedure in the United States and a safe way to remove cataracts.
Obesity has also been linked to an onset of cataracts at earlier age. People and body builders who use steroids and are at risk of gaining weight, might be at risk of developing cataract problems as well. Other side-effects of steroids include glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, being more susceptible to infections, bone thinning, acne, easily bruising, insomnia, mood swings, aggressive behavior, depression, abdominal striae, avascular necrosis of bone, and other important side-effects. Caution must be used when using steroids.