..eye-sight problems with chemotherapy..?..

..we've done hearing and voice, ok, anyone else getting weakening vision ?

..i've always been 20/20, and as a painter of miniatures/jewelry maker i needed to be, now tho i'm finding my minimum focal distance has increased suddenly, since the chemo, by maybe 15cms/ 6 inches, i'm having to hold ordinary paper-backs further away and have had to increase the on-screen print size (10 to 14) and crank up the light level..

..and my response time to shadow / light has increased, which can be wicked when driving in the Tropics..

Report post

24 replies. Join the discussion

When I was having chemo, I noticed visual problems. My eyes also watered alot and I was very sensitive to the sun. My oncologist said the chemo did this and recommended I wear sun shades when outdoors.

Best wishes,

Bette

Report post

..Bette,

..my thanks, one less worry...

..mmm, i don't suppose your onco told you why ?..

Report post

Hi Rabbit - Some problems with vision (I wear glasses for reading anyways) but mostly my eyes water a lot - I'll be reading and they start to tear - also as with Bette, very sensitive to the sun. Since I'll probably always be on some type of chemo, guess I'll have to put up with it!
Have you checked with an eye doctor - will glasses help? Good luck to you as we all fight this beast that's attacked us!
Pat J.

Report post

My vision has become a lot worse where I have to wear my reading glasses almost all of the time. I think part of it is that I'm on the computer all of the time now, but also because of the chemo. I'm going to ask my onc about this on Tuesday when I see him, because I was there last Friday and they asked about my vision and I told them it hadn't changed, but it has and I don't know why I said no.
I'll let you know what they say and hopefully that can help you too.
Susan

Report post

..please do, Susan, please do..

..i'm still in the acceptable zone on my CEA, and no evidence on the holiday snaps, so i just gave up on seeing my onco, which means i get home on the same day, which starts around 5 am and finishes at 8 pm, but this vision thing is getting worse..

..ok, maybe glasses, flip-up jeweler's glasses would, i reckon, be very cool and just go with the pocket-watch, and waist-coat, but if i had my d'ruthers, i'd rather lose my hearing than my sight..

..i farm, i paint and i model ( sculpture with clay as opposed to chop lumps of rock), i need my sight, i can always learn to lip-read...

Report post

during his first chemo (carobplatin and taxol) my husband complained of vision problems...blurring, hard to focus on small things...his onc said it was the chemo, and when he finished, we got his eyeglasses changed..there had been some changes but that could also have been from aging...this time, on alimta, he's not noticed any difficulty

Report post

My distance vision definitely went down with Chemo. Trying to get used to wearing glasses when driving and such.

I have also subsequently gotten more allrgies and dry and red eyes this year. I had surgery, radiation and chemo, so it is hard ot say which caused what... but there is something new coming up all the time.

Z

Report post

My vision has definitely gotten worse since I have been receiving chemo - I have to get my prescription changed every year - this year I had to go to the opthamologist and she plugged my punctas and gave me 2 different eye drops to use because I developed dry eyes really bad - I do a lot of close up work also jewelry making, quilting, and using the computer anyway the opthamologist told me whenever you are doing things where you are staring at something a lot you tend not to blink enough to keep you eyes moist so your eyes get dry - so the drops have helped a lot, but I think I will still need a new prescription this year because I find my vision is still not clear even with the drops - the drops did help with the grittiness I was feeling in my eyes.
Pamee

Report post

With all due respect, Rabbit, could it just be that you are getting older? Which beats the alternative, BTW! I needed bifocals at a certain age, and my eyes get a little worse every year, even without chemo! My husband, who has had the same prescription since he started wearing glasses as a teenager, also needed bifocals at some point.

Cindy

Report post

Hi White Rabbit:
I just got back from my chemo and asked the PA about eyesight. She said chemo definitely can cause changes in eyesight and that your eyesight should go back to normal once you're done with chemo.
I have an eye doctor's appointment in two weeks and the PA suggested I wait until after chemo as it will be more accurate.
Hope this helps.
Susan L

Report post

..i considered that, but the change was, and still is, very sudden..

..i never needed glasses for fine work, now, i do..

Report post

..thanks SusanL 1, i'm now nearly 8 months from my last chemo and the situation isn't changing, it's not worse, it's not better, but it is still a deterioration from from my pre-chemo sight..

..it doesn't feel like dryness affecting my view, but it's taken on board and i'll give drops a try...

..there's this lovely piece of mahogany, and my wife needs a jewelry box..

Report post

hello, there, white rabbit,
chemo disrupts the water balance in your whole body - so the stuff inside your eyes (particularly the lens) becomes different. once water balance has been disrupted, it takes a while to get everything back in the game. actually, my dad's onc told him not to even think about getting new glasses while he was taking chemo due to quick changes. maybe you could focus on slurping down some extra liquids to help?!

regarding the mahogany - your wife is a lucky lady to have such a sweetie for a husband!

hugs,
Pat

Report post

..Pat, my thanks..

..there are many side-effcts we don't get told about, and they all add to the stress and worry, being told here about the hearing loss in the high-registers got me thru a really bad period, now i can hear my wife again, a relief , believe me..

..but having my eye-sight go so quickly, damn that was scarey, especially as all my family needed glasses except me..

..kkk, i'll go temp tight focus lenses on fine work, i want to do something on the mahogany that's really for-ever stylish..

Report post

The ophthalmologist in my life--the husband unit--thinks that you may have some age-related eye changes--advancing presbyopia, a maturing cataract, age-related macular degeneration, and, finally, he feels that anyone, with a profound change in correction, should be evaluated for adult-onset diabetes--diabetes is the etiology of many a change in correction. All of the foregoing are easily enough evaluated--in other words, nothing terribly invasive has to be done.

For what it is worth, the chemo-related eye pathology that my husband has seen relate to tearing. Dry corneal epitheleum can give rise to unclear vision, as well.

And, I'm sure you know, an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist, is the person to whom one should go to assess any (medical) eye stuff, especially if you need to be referred on to a sub-specialist.

Report post

I thought it was old age getting to me - I didn't notice that the chemo made any difference in my sight - but you never know - before I was dx'd and had terrible headaches from the tumor that was in my right lung I thought it was maybe my glasses - so I went for another eye test and my vision was the same - it probably is not as good today as it was that day - but I really don't care too much about that...i can still see.......and I'm ALIVE

Report post

..to hermanade..

..i'll get it checked, but it was so sudden, min focal length to increase by some 6 inches in a matter of weeks, following the start of chemo, i read a lot and suddenly i had to hold the books further away, when i was fit enough to start fine work, i had to re-adjust my movements to avoid slicing my fingers..

..none of my previous eye-tests showed anything, and as i understand macular degeneration shows early on, my ex-woman has it..

..but, like i said, i'll pop into the hospital's eye-doctor bit and have a visual road-test..

..my thanks to yr husband..

Report post

No problem--good luck, and my husband advises a consult with an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist.

Report post

Forget the old age. I had changes too, and abruptly! I had been using reading glasses for about 14 years. Suddenly they weren't working (new ones I'd gotten just a few months before). I could not read! I thought I need stronger ones, but later realized I had looked at a paper and was reading it and had NO glasses on! What was really weird was that my left eye had always been my dominant and distance one. All of a sudden my left eye could see print in a book, even a phone book without glasses! My right eye suddenly could read the street signs blocks away! So what some people do by getting one contact, I just fell into. I read and drive with no corrective lenses and I've worn them since hitting 40. So if its age, its not typical. AND it was really sudden. I am delighted with it because its one less thing I misplace and I use it as another example of pluses in my life.

Report post

yep. When my eyelashes fell out, it caused increased eye irritation that added to the hypermucosa from the chemo. .


...and...


well, I'm 42, so I figure that plays into my minimum focal distance more than anything but, yes, it has increased during the past 15 months. Blame it on what you like. It happened while getting chemotherapy, Gemzar, Taxol, Cisplatin, Avastin.

and later I got taxotere too. Now I'm taking Tarceva and continue Avastin therapy but my eyes were already like thi before I started the Tarceva.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Photo of Dave Grant

The Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community has provided support for patients, caregivers, families and friends since 2006. We welcome over 600 new members every month in the fight against lung cancer.

ALK mutations and lung cancer

Join the discussion about ALK mutations and lung cancer

Things you can do

Discussion topics

Community leaders