Sunday, March 3, 2024

Can Chemo Affect Your Eyes

Can Chemotherapy Cause Vision Problems

What can you do about dry skin and losing your eye lashes during chemo?

Chemotherapy drugs, as well as hormonal and targeted therapies, can indeed cause eye and vision problems. Steroids and other drugs used to manage other treatment side effects can also affect your eyes.

Depending on your cancer treatment, you can experience a variety of eye issues, known as ocular or neuro-ophthalmic side effects. The most common ocular side effects include clogged tear ducts blurry vision dry, red, itchy or watery eyes conjunctivitis eye pain and general discomfort.

In rare cases, ocular side effects can be severe, disabling and irreversible. This includes optic neuropathy, an inflammation of the optic nerve that transmits vision information from your eyes to your brain. UpToDate listed the most recent research on how certain cancer drugs affect eye health.

Directions For Future Research

Although treatments for BC are continually evolving, it seems certain that millions of BC survivors will receive adjuvant endocrine therapy involving years of AI use. What remains unknown is the scheduling of this treatment. Will AIs be prescribed after 2-3 years of tamoxifen use, or will AIs be used from the outset? Will patients receive adjuvant endocrine therapy for more than 5 years? Which AIs will be used, and how might their visual and ocular effects differ? How might prior use of tamoxifen interact with the ability of an AI to affect vision and the eye? This last question is important because many post-menopausal women may be using tamoxifen for the first several years at the start of a tamoxifen / AI switching regimen, while many other women will have taken tamoxifen for varying periods of time before reaching the menopause. Tamoxifen will continue to serve as an alternative medication for post-menopausal women whose AI side effects are unacceptable, and it is expected to remain a mainstay for men with BC.

for use in longitudinal studies, whether conservative or more speculative.

What Eye Problems Might Be Associated With Cancer Treatment

Some cancer treatments may cause problems with your eyes, such as conjunctivitis, cataracts, dry eyes, photophobia and watery eyes.

Conjunctivitis: This condition, also known as pink eye, is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, or an allergic reaction. Chemotherapy drugs tend to suppress your immune system, making you more susceptible to infection.

Cataracts: Cataracts are a cloudy area in the lens of your eye that prevents light from passing through. They are painless, but do lead to a progressive loss of vision. Cataracts usually occur in one eye and wont spread to the other.

Dry eyes: Your eyes will feel dry if you are not producing enough tears, or if your tears are lacking an important chemical involved in lubricating your eyes.

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Can Other Medical Conditions Increase Your Risk

Your risk for eye problems resulting from multiple myeloma or its treatments is higher if you also have certain medical conditions that can affect your eyes.

These include:

  • Eye discharge or watery eyes
  • Dry eyes

Some people are diagnosed with multiple myeloma after their eye doctor or optician notices symptoms and refers them to an oncologist for testing.

Affect Of Chemotherapy On The Eye

Ocular Oncology  Rojas Eye Care

Chemotherapy can also affect the eye. Dry eye and advancing of cataracts are the most common side effects from chemotherapy. Lubrication of the eyes with artificial tears is recommended. Any decreasing vision should be reported to the onocologist and your ophthalmologist.

Radiation near the eye can cause Inflammation of the skin, conjunctiva, and cornea. It can also cause small areas of bleeding on the retina.

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Aromatase Inhibitors: Anastrozole Letrozole And Exemestane

Three third-generation AIs have received FDA-approval for use as adjuvant endocrine therapy in early-stage BC. Anastrozole and letrozole were approved in 2002 and 2005, respectively, as first-line monotherapy, while exemestane currently is approved for use after 2-3 years of tamoxifen use, for a total of 5 continuous years of adjuvant endocrine therapy. In practice, however, oncologists exercise substantial discretion in deciding which adjuvant endocrine medications to prescribe to individual patients. Clinical trials are well underway to determine whether switching regimens, with tamoxifen used for the first 2-3 years and then an AI for the balance of the conventional 5-year adjuvant endocrine period, are more effective than a comparable period of monotherapy.229 Trials also are well on their way regarding the efficacy and safety of extending the duration of adjuvant endocrine therapy beyond 5 years.31,230,231

and after they switch from tamoxifen to an AI in order to determine whether the switch leads to measurable intraocular change, particularly as assessed with spectral-domain OCT.

In unpublished results , the monocular contrast sensitivities of anastrozole users were found to be significantly lower than those of female control subjects and tamoxifen users, respectively. Thus, the spatial vision of anastrozole users was affected despite their excellent acuity. Contrast sensitivity should be assessed for AI users reporting unexplained vision difficulties.

Drugs That Can Affect Your Eyes

Doctors use many different types of drugs to treat cancer. Some of them may cause changes to your eyes or eyesight.

Usually, the effects are temporary and will go away when you stop taking the drug. But some effects may be long term.

Changes to your eyesight and eyes can be uncomfortable and upsetting. These changes can make your usual activities hard to do and as a result, affect your quality of life.

Eye changes are most likely to happen with some:

  • chemotherapy drugs
  • targeted cancer drugs
  • immunotherapies

Some hormone therapies can cause eye problems, but they are usually mild. Some bisphosphonates and long term steroid treatments sometimes cause eye problems.

Drugs affect people in different ways. It is not possible to tell in advance who will have particular side effects. It depends on:

  • the drug or combination of drugs you are having
  • the dose
  • how you react to the drug
  • how you have reacted to drug treatment in the past

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Colon Cancer Breast Cancer Lung Cancer

These are the most common cancers and can metastasize to the eye, even years after remission. Any vision changes should be reported to your doctor and should be followed up with an exam by an ophthalmologist. Tumors usually form inside the eye behind the retina in the choroid. Treatment is usually chemotherapy and possibly radiation depending on the type of cancer.

Chemotherapeutic Agents Used Shortly After Bc Diagnosis

Chemotherapy Education Managing the side effects of treatment

Although it would be desirable to specify the frequencies with which ocular side effects such as dry eye result from any individual medication, several factors combine to make such estimates uncertain. First, cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents rarely are administered entirely independently of one another. Second, toxicities typically are cumulative-dose-dependent, and side effects need not manifest immediately following the most recent treatment. Third, the physiologic responses to treatment can differ for individual patients. In fact, the recognition and prospective identification of salient individual differences provides the basis for personalized medicine”, which is being implemented in the clinic at an accelerated pace owing for a variety of scientific and technological advances.54, 55 And fourth, the frequency with which symptoms are reported depends greatly on the expectations and communications among providers, investigators, and patients.56, 57 No studies appear to have been conducted wherein validated survey tools 58) have been used for assessing ocular-surface discomfort stemming from chemotherapy, for example. Neither do there appear to be any epidemiologic studies addressing the relation of chemotherapy to dry eye.

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Memory And Concentration Problems

Some people have problems with their short-term memory, concentration and attention span during chemotherapy. You may find that routines tasks take much longer than usual.

It’s unclear why this happens, but the symptoms usually improve once treatment is finished.

Things such as using lists, post-it notes, calendars and your mobile phone for reminders can help. Doing some mental exercises, eating well, and getting enough rest may also be useful.

Kidney And Bladder Effects

Certain chemotherapy medications, such as cisplatin, can cause damage to the kidneys and bladder. This can result in a decreased ability of your kidneys to filter your blood.

Damage to the bladder can also occur and may be temporary or permanent. Symptoms of bladder irritation may include pain or urgency with urination, or blood in your urine.

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Feeling And Being Sick

Many people having chemotherapy will have periods where they feel sick or are sick .

Your care team can give you anti-sickness medicine to reduce or prevent this.

This is available as:

Side effects of anti-sickness medicines include constipation, indigestion, problems sleeping and headaches.

Tell your care team if your medicine does not help, or it causes too many side effects. There may be a different one that works better for you.

When To Get Urgent Medical Advice

Does your child have eye cancer? Use a smartphone camera to check ...

While the side effects of chemotherapy can be distressing, most are not serious.

Infections can be very serious if not treated immediately. Contact your care team immediately if you have any symptoms of an infection, these include:

  • a temperature of above 37.5C or below 36C
  • your skin feels warm to touch, or you feel hot and shivery
  • breathing difficulties
  • flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches and pain
  • a sore mouth

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How To Cope With Eye Problems During Chemotherapy

Watery eyes, known medically as epiphora, is a symptom experienced by cancer patients and survivors alike. Excessive tearing and other eye-related conditions have been shown to be caused by chemotherapy medications like Taxotere.

If you were, or are, undergoing chemotherapy and have suffered from excessive tearing, contact the product liability attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC today at 476-7771 or 919-0830 to schedule your consultation.

Depending on your specific case, there may be a number of reasons why you could be experiencing excessively watery eyes. Realize that you are not alone. Many breast cancer patients and survivors have undergone conditions just like your. That is why at Hotze Runkle PLLC we have decided to put together a series of tips meant to help you diminish the symptoms and hopefully improve your quality of life while we fight for you.

How To Deal With Eyesight And Eye Changes Caused By Cancer Drugs

The following drugs can cause cataracts:

  • some chemotherapy drugs
  • long term steroid therapy
  • the hormone therapy tamoxifen

A cataract is clouding of the lens of the eye which leads to slow loss of vision. If you have cataracts you might:

  • have cloudy or blurry vision
  • have trouble seeing in the dark night driving may be difficult
  • find colours may appear faded or dull
  • find lights appear to be too bright, or there may be a halo around lights
  • have to change your glasses or contact lens prescription often
  • have double vision, which gradually gets worse

Let your doctor or nurse know if you have any of these changes. If necessary, you can have the clouded lens removed and replaced with a false lens. You have this operation under local anaesthetic.

Some cancer drugs can make your eyes more sensitive to light. Doctors call this photophobia.

Treatments that might cause photophobia include:

  • cytarabine
  • drugs used for photodynamic therapy treatment

You may find that light hurts your eyes and is even painful.

Some people notice pain when they go from a dark to a light area. Most people are sensitive to light when they go outside during the daytime.

Tips for dealing with sensitivity to light
  • Wear dark glasses to lower the amount of light going into your eyes.
  • Avoid direct sunlight or bright indoor light.
  • Inflammation of the eye caused by an infection can cause light sensitivity treating the infection can help.
  • Steroid eye drops may help your doctor or nurse can prescribe these.

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Coping With Hair Loss

Hair loss can be upsetting. Talk to your care team if you’re finding it difficult to cope with losing your hair.

They understand how distressing it can be and can support you and discuss your options with you.

For example, you may decide you want to wear a wig. Synthetic wigs are available free of charge on the NHS for some people, but you’ll usually have to pay for a wig made from real hair.

Other options include headwear, such as a headscarf.

Read more about advice about cancer and hair loss.

Anterior Segment Side Effects

Cancer patients affected by chemotherapy can get eyebrows back for free

Mucous membranes may be altered by several mechanisms including direct cytotoxicity, infectionand a decrease in polymorphonuclear or platelet counts.7Megadoses of systemic chemotherapy such as carmustine and mitomycin can cause qualitative andquantitative changes in the tear film leading to damage to the corneal and conjunctivalepithelium.16 The calculated prevalence rates of ocularsurface lesions with use of systemic 5-fluorouracil is ocular irritation, 5.8% conjunctivitis, 3.8% keratitis, 3.8% tearing, 26.9% and blurred vision,11.5%. 10 Blacks were reported to have a significantly higher rate of tearing when comparedwith whites. 10 Corneal opacities have been reported with use of tamoxifen.5,17 The keratopathy occurs in the form ofsubepithelial deposits, whorls and linear opacities.17Posterior subcapsular cataract can occur with busulphan,5,18,19,20 methotrexate,5 toremifeneand tamoxifen.2123

Interferon when used in the management of haematological malignancies or hepatitis is associatedwith side effects in the anterior segment of the eye.26,27 Acute corneal allograft rejection has been reported with the useof alpha-2 interferon.26 The development of glaucoma duringthe course of treatment with interferon alpha has also been reported.27 The mechanism by which interferon therapy might lead to glaucoma remain unclear, but theglaucoma disappeared after the drug therapy was discontinued.

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Whats The Role Of Infections

Multiple myeloma makes you more vulnerable to infections, including eye infections. This type of cancer affects white blood cells found in your bone marrow called plasma cells. When theyâre healthy, plasma cells help produce infection-fighting antibodies. But cancer interferes with this process.

Similarly, while certain treatments for multiple myeloma fight off cancer cells, they also destroy those infection-fighting white blood cells. This raises your risk for eye infections and other infections, like shingles and herpes simplex 1, that could affect your eyes.

Drugs that increase your risk for infection include:

  • The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib
  • Daratumumab , a monoclonal antibody
  • High-dose steroids

How Else Could Multiple Myeloma Damage Your Eyes

Plasma cells that are cancerous produce abnormal antibodies called âparaproteinâ that serve no useful purpose. Too much paraprotein buildup can make your blood thick and sticky. This is called hyperviscosity.

If the paraprotein buildup reaches very high levels, your blood can get so thick that blood flow to the area around your eyes is reduced or blocked. This can lead to vision loss and other eye problems. Deposits of paraproteins in the area around your eyes can also cause issues.

Also, myeloma cells can change your blood chemistry, making it more likely to form clots. Sometimes, a clot can form in the blood supply to your eyes, leading to sudden sight loss.

In rare cases, myeloma cells clump together near your eye to form a tumor called a plasmacytoma. This can cause issues like reduced vision, double vision, and pain in your eyes.

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Does Chemotherapy Affect Eyesight

Talk nowdry eyeswatery eyeschemocataractsoncologist eyesightTalk nowfocusingSteroidschemotherapy drugscataractpoor vision

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What Can You Do To Lower Your Risk Of Long

Ocular Oncology  Rojas Eye Care

Until we know more about long-term survivorship issues following chemotherapy for adults, there are things you can do:

  • Ask your oncologist about any late effects that you may expect from the particular chemotherapy drugs you were given. Find out when you will need to have the recommended screening tests .
  • Keep a record of your chemotherapy regimen with you in case you see a healthcare provider who is unfamiliar with your medical history.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Make regular appointments with your dentist and eye doctor.
  • Engage in regular physical activity.
  • Limit your intake of alcohol.
  • Let your healthcare provider know if you experience any new symptoms or worsening of current symptoms you have.

For childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivors, long-term follow-up guidelines have been developed to address the long-term side effects and other survivorship issues.

  • American Society of Clinical Oncology. Cancer.Net. Late Effects.

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Breast Cancer Can Have An Affect On The Eyes

Most people are not aware that breast cancer can cause health changes in the eyes. The most common place in the body for breast cancer to spread is to the eyes. In men, lung cancer is more likely to spread to the eyes. These tumors that develop in the eyes, in the choroid are not detected until you have a dilated eye examination, because they cause no symptoms to your vision, or no pain to your eye. The choroid is a vascular layer in the retina that supplies the eye with a large portion of blood. Once a tumor grows so big, it will eventually affect vision, but by then, it is too late in the course of the condition to have a positive outcome.

Both men and women , should obtain an eye exam if they have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The reason, is to ensure, that metastasis to the choroid has not taken place yet.

If it has, an ocular oncologist will be added to the team of professionals in treating your cancer. While undergoing treatment for breast cancer, you can experience many ocular side effects from the medications that are taken. The eye problems you may encounter are red, itchy or burning eyes, constant watering or watery eyes, pink eyes or inflammation of the white part, blurry vision, double vision, floaters or dark spots in vision, and eye pain.

A few things you can do if you are taking medication to treat breast cancer to improve your ocular symptoms are:

  • Wash your hands often.

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