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My wife is 85 and has closed-angle glaucoma as well as unbearable pruritus. She can't use cortisone and steroids to stop the itch as they will endanger her sight. Can this rash be cured through other means?
While your Eye M.D. is not an expert on rashes and their treatment, a dermatologist or other specialist may be able to identify the cause of a particular rash and relieve the rash by means other than cortisone or steroid. However, cortisone and steroids are only a concern in glaucoma patients if an individual develops elevated pressures when using cortisone- or steroid-like medications. This is mostly a concern in individuals with open-angle glaucoma who may be what we term "steroid responders." In general, even in individuals who are steroid responders, the eye pressure does not increase until after a few weeks of use. If your doctor determines that cortisone-like medication would be helpful for treatment of the rash, I would discuss this with your Eye M.D. so that your wife can be monitored through treatment. This should be able to be done very safely and any elevated eye pressure, if it occurred at all, could then be treated if necessary.
Answered by: Louis B. Cantor, MD
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