Influence of chronic inflammatory lung diseases and their treatment with glucocorticoids on eye diseases

Jurgita Kupčinskaitė1, Vita Marčiulionytė1, Tadas Meškauskas1

1Lithuanian University of Health Science, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are among the most common chronic inflammatory lung diseases. COPD is one of the most common causes of death in the world, causing systemic damage and complications that damage the entire body, including the eyes. Hypoxia, hypercapnia, and acidosis caused by systemic inflammation of COPD affect peripheral nerves as well as optic nerve. However, there is also an increasing number of studies investigating the impact of these lung diseases and their treatment with glucocorticoids (GCC) on eye diseases. Although the effects of oral glucocorticoids on the eye have been extensively studied and their adverse effects on ocular structures have been identified, there are increasing amount of data on the dose and duration dependent adverse effects of inhaled GCC on the eye leading to faster glaucoma and cataract development. However, both the impact of COPD systemic damage on ocular structures and the association of asthma and COPD treatment with inhaled glucocorticoids with the development of ocular diseases require further investigation. In addition, the observation of similarities in pathogenesis between asthma and dry eye disease revealed a significant correlation between several studies, but the studies do not provide only the nature of observation and specific evidence.

Keywords: COPD, asthma, eye diseases, cataract, glaucoma, glucocorticosteroids.