When it comes to blood cancer, such as leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma, it’s important to be aware of potential symptoms and warning signs. While blood cancer itself doesn’t directly affect vision, there are certain complications associated with the disease or its treatments that may impact your vision. Here are some things to watch for:

  1. Chemotherapy Side Effects: Chemotherapy can cause various side effects, including changes in vision. Some individuals may experience blurry vision, dry eyes, sensitivity to light, or difficulty focusing. It’s essential to communicate any vision changes to your healthcare team, as they can provide guidance and recommend appropriate interventions.
  2. Infections or Complications: Blood cancer patients may have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infections, including those that can affect the eyes. Common eye infections include conjunctivitis (pink eye) or uveitis. Symptoms may include redness, itching, discharge, or sensitivity to light. Seek medical attention if you experience any eye-related symptoms.
  3. Blood Clotting and Retinal Vein Occlusion: Some blood cancers can increase the risk of abnormal blood clotting. In rare cases, this can lead to a condition called retinal vein occlusion, which can cause sudden vision loss or blurred vision in one eye. If you experience sudden, painless vision changes, seek immediate medical attention.
  4. Anemia: Anemia is a common complication of blood cancer. It occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen adequately. Severe anemia can affect your vision, causing blurry vision, difficulty seeing in low light, or sensitivity to light. Proper management of anemia, including blood transfusions or medication, can help alleviate associated vision changes.
  5. Medication Side Effects: Some medications used to treat blood cancer or manage its symptoms may have ocular side effects. Certain drugs can cause dry eyes, changes in color vision, or keratitis (inflammation of the cornea). Report any new or worsening vision symptoms to your healthcare team.

If you’re undergoing treatment for blood cancer, regular communication with your healthcare team is crucial. They can monitor your overall health, including any ocular complications, and provide appropriate interventions or referrals to specialists if necessary. Be vigilant about any changes in your vision and advocate for comprehensive eye exams to address concerns related to your blood cancer or its treatments.

By Sue