An American study was published earlier this year, looking at the outcomes for Birdshot patients who had been on steroid implants (the longer name for these steroid implants is corticosteroid intraocular devices). 22 Birdshot patients were involved in the study which looked retrospectively (over a 3 year period) at the outcomes.
The outcomes were extremely positive, and showed that the steroid implants had significantly improved vision, controlled inflammation and in the majority of cases stopped the need for other medications. As always, there are some down sides – in the case of steroid implants the main side effects were a high incidence of the progression of cataracts and a high incidence of intraocular pressure (called glaucoma).
If you want to read the full study, go to the American Journal of Ophthalmology.
We at BUS, are really excited that there seems to be a growing number of suitable alternatives for people who are not responding well to oral steroids and various different types of immunosuppressants, or who cannot tolerate these medication regimes.
The importance of a published study is that it provides evidence for patients and consultants who might be struggling to acquire steroid implants from their primary care trusts or health organisation, or who are looking for alternatives to oral steroids and immunosuppression.
For those of you who attended the Birdshot Day in September 2010, you will remember that steroid implants were discussed at some length on the Day. There was one attendee who had these implants and was extremely passionate about them.
If you want to hear more about steroid implants for the Birdshot Day, please go to our clip on retisert implants at:
Since the Birdshot Day, we have heard from one attendee who says that the Day changes her life and equipped her with enough information to be confident in moving to steroid implants. She reports that she can now see clearly for the first time for many years without the aid of immunosuppressive treatment. We also know of another person who has been offered them on a special trial and a third person who is discussing this option with their specialist.
We are so pleased at the more rapid progress of alternative treatments and we are delighted that the Birdshot Day has equipped attendees with the means to work in partnership with their consultants to explore all possible options. We are even more delighted to see that so many more consultants are now listening to their patients and there is a two way dialogue and a real exploration of all options available. Let’s hope that we can also make some headway in finding out the reason we get Birdshot in the first place!