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Sight

Read about how nasopharyngeal treatment might affect your sight (vision).

Who might be affected

Only some people with nasopharyngeal cancer have problems with sight (vision).

The more advanced the cancer, the more likely it is to affect your sight. Unless you were diagnosed in the early stages of nasopharyngeal cancer, it might already have spread to:

  • the nerve that controls eye movement
  • the eye or tissue surrounding the eye

Double vision

Double vision can be caused by your cancer affecting the cranial nerve that controls eye movement. But this only affects between 10 to 20 in every 100 people (10 to 20%) diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer.

This often improves after treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy. 

If the symptoms continue, there may be treatments your doctor can suggest to improve your vision. It may be possible to correct it with glasses.

Other changes

You might have other changes in your vision if your cancer is affecting your eye socket. Or you might completely lose the sight in one eye. But this is rare. It affects fewer than 5 out every 100 people (less than 5%) with nasopharyngeal cancer.

Coping

Any change to your sight can be difficult to cope with. You can read more about coping with changes to your sight in our section about nasal and paranasal sinus cancer. Remember that not all the information there will apply to you.

Cancer Research UK nurses

You can call the Cancer Research UK information nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. They are happy to help. They can give advice about who can help you and what kind of support is available.
Last reviewed: 
02 Sep 2014
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    Chan ATC, Gregoire V, Lefebvre JL et al. Annals of Oncology 23 (suppl 7) vii83-85, 2012

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