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chemo and vision problems chemo and vision problems

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Unread 03-09-2008, 10:37 AM
chemo and vision problems

I have completed five chemos of taxol/carbo and after this last one have noticed something strange with my vision. Two days after my chemo, and again this morning I have gotten what seems like 'flashing' that lasts about ten minutes and then goes away. My vision during that time is distorted, kind of like coming up from under water. I will be calling my chemo dr. tomorrow to find out about this, but wondered if anybody else has experienced anything similar.
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Unread 03-09-2008, 11:14 AM
chemo and vision problems

hi...i have had a similar, although not as dramatic occurrence since finishing my chemo sept. 5/07. shortly after finishing chemo, i noticed "floaters" (a couple of small black lines) in my left eye. i mentioned this to my family dr. she said that this is fairly common, that i should go to my optometrist to get checked out. she said it sometimes clears up on it's own; some people have it more severe. she didn't send me to a specialist at this time. i haven't bothered to follow up on it as it's not bothering me too much and i also found out that my younger sister has had it for years.

let us know what you find out. best wishes to you.
Unread 03-09-2008, 11:29 AM
chemo and vision problems

here too. During chemo, my vision changed....blurriness and problems seeing the same distances I'd always seen. I also had bad 'dry eye'. Drops solved that issue. Chemo nurses said it's normal, and fortunately, it did pass after treatment ended.

I hope yours does, too!
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Unread 03-09-2008, 11:40 AM
chemo and vision problems

Hi BJ - CONGRATS on completing your chemo!!! What a great feeling. When I finished chemo a year ago, I had trouble reading - my vision was blurry and it was time for my annual eye exam, so I actually got tested and bought glasses with a new prescription for reading that I don't need now!

I never attributed the changes to the chemo, although I should have. The eye doctor didn't offer the chemo as an explanation either, so my advice is to wait and see how your vision changes. :bigwink:
Unread 03-09-2008, 01:44 PM
chemo and vision problems

NGM, K9 and Tallulah - thanks for your input. These are definitely not floaters - have been putting up with them for years so I know what they are like. I had been told (or read someplace) that there could be vision changes (sometimes temporary) from the chemo, but did not read anything about symptoms similar to what I am experiencing. I think in addition to calling the chemo doctor tomorrow I will call my eye doctor as well and see what he has to say. What I have experienced is just so weird - lasting only a short time and then goes away. I do still have one more chemo to go, so would not want to make any drastic changes with my glasses or contacts until at least a month to six weeks after my treatment is completed. The distorted vision has happened both when wearing my contact and my glasses, so I know it is not just something strange from the contacts.
Unread 03-09-2008, 04:15 PM
chemo and vision problems

Hi, Bonnie,
I had something similar to what you described during one of my chemos. To me it was like lighting flashes out of the corner of my eye. I called my eye doctor right away as this was different from the floaters I have. It was explained to me that the flashes were from the retina tugging on the back of the eye. I was monitored every 3 months for a year. The concern was that this could lead to a detached retina.
Unread 03-09-2008, 05:30 PM
chemo and vision problems

Thanks, 4Margie - that is a bit scary - I have to see my family doctor for a neupogen shot in the early morning tomorrow, so will mention it to him while I am there. Once I get home you can believe I will be on the phone with my eye doctor and my chemo doctor. My vision is not something I want to fool around with. Your description of lightening flashes is probably close to what I was having, but I could not determine which eye it was coming from, or what part of the eye.
Unread 03-09-2008, 07:52 PM
chemo and vision problems

BJ, is there any chance that this is an optic migraine? I have them all the time, when I am stressed out. Let me describe what mine looks like to you, and see if this is anything like yours. Also, let me say that I have not had chemo so I may be way way off base.

When mine start there is a small portion of my vision that is smudged, like if there is a spot on your glasses or windshield. That "spot" starts to have flashing lights around the edge of it. I have likened it to what it would look like if you took a prism and broke it into tiny shards and then shone a light into it. The area of flashing lights expands within my vision until it moves right out of it. While that area is expanding I can still see, there isn't a blackness or anything, but it is distorted. Once the flashing colored lights are gone, my vision is blurry for a couple minutes more. All in all, they don't last longer than an hour, and most of them are over in 45 minutes. Sometimes I have a headache, and sometimes not. What ever side the light show moves off of, the headache is on the opposite side.

Does any of that sound familiar? No matter what it is, you are wise to get it checked out. I hope you find the answers you seek.
God bless you and yours
Unread 03-10-2008, 11:50 AM
chemo and vision problems

Deb, I think you have hit the nail on the head!! I called my chemo doctor and he said possibly related to the steroids, but to call my eye doctor. Spoke with him, he asked a few questions and came up with 'migraine' - with no headache. Something I had never heard of before. Years ago (like more than 15) I used to get really bad headaches - needed quite and darkness, and would on occasion vomit from them, and he said yep, those were migraines even if they were never diagnosed that way. Also said if somebody has suffered from them in the past they can have symptoms many years later, mainly due to stress (who me, have stress...) I did not have a headache yesterday, but did notice a slight pain on the right side of my head, just in front of my ear, and he said that was a migraine. Thanks for alerting me to this and it has definitely put my mind at ease that it is not something like a detached retina.

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