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Nasopharyngeal cancer and sight

Men and women discussing nasopharyngeal cancer

This page contains information about changes in your vision because of nasopharyngeal cancer. You can find the following

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Nasopharyngeal cancer and sight

Only some people with nasopharyngeal cancer will have problems with sight (vision). The more advanced the cancer, the more likely it is to affect your sight.

If your cancer has affected the cranial nerve that controls eye movement, it can cause double vision. This can be one of the symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer. Double vision 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.

If your cancer affects the eye socket, you may have other changes in your vision or you may completely lose the sight in one eye.

Any change can be difficult to cope with. There is a detailed section on coping with changes to your sight in the nasal and paranasal sinus cancer section.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the living with nasopharyngeal cancer section.

 

 

Whose sight will be affected by nasopharyngeal cancer

Only some people with nasopharyngeal cancer will 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 may have already spread to

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

Double vision

If your cancer has affected the cranial nerve that controls eye movement, it can cause double vision. This can be one of the symptoms of nasopharyngeal cancer, but only affects between 10 to 20 in every 100 people (10 to 20%) diagnosed. Double vision 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

If your cancer affects the eye socket, you may have other changes in your vision or you may completely lose the sight in one eye. This is rare and affects fewer than 5 out every 100 people (5%) with nasopharyngeal cancer.

Any change can be difficult to cope with. There is more information on coping with changes to your sight in the nasal and paranasal sinus cancer section. Remember to click on the back button at the top of your screen to return to the nasopharyngeal cancer section.

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Updated: 2 September 2014