One of the issues that always asked by the leukemia patient is why their vision got affected. Most of them cannot understand why they have their vision problem.

Read this article to know more about the relation between these two

How Blood Cancer Relates To Eyes Problem?

The eyes problem can be diagnosed first before leukemia or in some cases can be diagnosed at the same time.

This changes is a result from direct infiltration of leukemia cells to the eye tissues or indirectly from the overall changes of the body caused by the leukemia

What Can Happen To The Eye And The Eyesight?

Direct infiltration can happen in 3 forms :

  1. Infiltration to the front segment (anterior) uvea
  2. The development of cancer cell can causes spontaneous bleeding inside the eye and proptosis
  3. The development of cancer cell to central nervous system including the optic nerves and the nerves that control the movement of the eyeball and the size of the eye.

Figure 1: Infiltration to the eye can causes bleeding in the eye.


Figure 2: Chloroma and proptosis

The indirect changes is a result from the changes of blood cells that are caused by leukemia such as anemia, lack of platlet cells, chemotherapy and the hyperviscosity.

This can occur as a retina bleeding or vitreous (refer picture), infections and blood vessels blockage.

Figure 3: Retina bleeding and vitreous


How The Changes Can Be Detected?

You must be referred to the ophthalmologist and details checkup will be done. This includes :

  • Visual acuity
  • Vision field
  • Optic nerve evaluation and inner part of the eye by funduscopic examination

Figure 4: Vision test with Snellen Chart

Figure 5: Vision field confrontation test

Can The Changes On The Eye And The Vision Caused By Leukemia Treated?

The treatment depends on the structure of the diseased eye

  1. Specific leukemia treatment – by giving chemotherapy to kill the leukemia cells
  2. Supportive treatment – the correction of red blood cells and platlet, reducing the level of white blood cells that contributes to the high density of blood.
  3. Specific treatment to the eyes – depending on the structure of the diseased eyes. If there is too much bleeding inside the eye gel (vitreous), the doctor will propose the operation to be done. If there is no bleeding or no vision problems, a scheduled monitoring is sufficient. The potential for the vision to be treated is depending to the level of vision problem and the structure.


There are direct and indirect relation between vision and leukemia as the article explained. The awareness of the possible vision problem will prepare the patient to get the right treatment for it

Share this article to you friends and families to spread the knowledge.

Author :
Dr Nor Rafeah Tumian
Pakar Perunding Hematologi Klinikal,
Jabatan perubatan, PPUKM

Similar Posts