Tomoxifen and eye changes due to deposits

Hi there

Does anyone else have experience of eyesight changes on Tamoxifen? I asked the same question on a related thread earlier but thought it might be helpful to set up a new one too.

I just came on to see if there were any specific threads about Tamoxifen and eyesight. I have been on it for 1 year and as I started it my optician told me I should gt an annual check up as Tamoxifen is known to cause deposits in the eye. This week - coincidental with a dizzy spell (that reading here reminds me might be due to Tamoxifen) - I noticed a number of pin prick dots in front of 1 eye. Some are black and some are grey. The optician told me to get checked at the eye hospital. Was met by a rather brusque and officious nurse who told me it would be floaters and that I was welcome to them! She examined me to check whether I had a retinal tear. I don’t but the opthalmologist confirmed that I do have deposits and he is referring me to a clinic for further assessment. He is not sure that is what is causing my symptoms of the dots. It is quite unnerving and very noticeable in bight weather or when outside. I wondered if anyone else had similar experiences and what happened.


Not had a problem but like you optician told me annual eye checks when on Tamoxifen. Why are we not told this at hospital???

Hi Tanya,
Yes my eyes have become worse on Tamoxifen. I have only been on it since June 2009 but my optician has told me it is quiet common. I also have the start of cataracts and have been advised to have 6 monthly eye tests now. I will continue with the Tamoxifen as the pros out weigh the cons, but agree with the fact that we should have been warned.
Lynn x

tanya iv had floaters for about 15 years they can be annoying especially on a light background when they seem to jump across the page of a book a computer screen or a pavement, but have become pretty much used to them now.

i was on tamoxifen for 3 til last june and hadnt noticed any worsening or any other eye problems and iv always had excellent eyesight as an adult (wore specs as a kid) although i have an astigmatism.

however on the chemo my eyes got really dry and irritated and i thought they would go back to normal when i finished it but it didnt improve and its now much worse and i cant really very small print… iv been back on tamox for about 2 months and was just saying today id need to go for an eye test… so after reading your post ill put that at the top of my to-do list next week.

hope your appt goes well



I only had my eyes tested 6 months ago & my prescription changed, but have been having real problems with headaches recently…especially when I’m driving or using the laptop. I’m having to screw up my eyes again a lot because everything is too bright (the way it was before I went back to wearing specs a few years back).

I wonder if it’s linked to the Tamoxifen I started taking last month?

After reading this thread yesterday I’ve made an apt to have my eyes tested again, so I’ll soon find out!



Hi, I am not sure if it is age or the Tamoxofin but since starting the drug in September I have noticed I cannot read the ingredients on bottles any more and have been taking things ‘by the window’ to see better. I think I will have to go and have a check up and get some glasses.
Thanks for the thread :slight_smile: I did not know you needed to have an eye test every year because of the Tam…

Hi Ladies

I have had ‘floaters’ for the last 6 - 7 weeks which have been getting more annoying and bright light has my eyes watering constantly. I finished chemo 3 weeks ago and was putting it down to that. Am due to start Tamoxifen next week and Rads in 10 days. Did not know about eye check so like Lulu will put it on my to-do list, Thanks for the info.

Leigh x

Hi everyone
I only took Tomox for a year (2006) then because on adverse reaction to my leg veins was changed to Aromisin, so been on that for over 3 years. Over the past year my eyesight has given me the same trouble that all of you have. Black floaters - eye irritations - and cannot stand bright lights be it sun light or blue light son the compouter! Seen an eye Doctor and he said I had severe Dry eye syndrome - and it was an age thing!!! Anyway I continue to suffer and got fed up with it last week so went to see my GP and asked him to refer me - just want to get to the bottom of the problem. Will keepo you all posted as to the outcome.

Lots of Love one and all Diane xx

hi Diane

i went to see my optician and had my eyes tested last moth… also have dry eye syndrome and now have glasses for reading and computer work.

i have to use lumecare eye gel 3 times a day… although currently run out! to keep eyes moist. was advised it was down to age too… over age 40 your eyes naturally deteriorate… mine have gone back to similar to they were when i was in primary school.

hope your ok


Thanks for your comments ladies. It seems that eye problems are common both with age, chemo and tamoxifen. I haven’t been in to the site for ages to reply. Apologies. The floaters were due to a detachment and nothing to do with the Tamoxifen. That said it was a result of that problem that the Tamoxifen problems were noticed Had to wait weeks for tests and appointments but the upshot of it is that tamoxifen retinopathy (changes) is present and my oncologist agrees I should come off Tamoxifen. I started Zoladex as a temporary cover and have stopped the Tamoxifen. I am awaiting ovarian ablation by radiotherapy and then will stop the Zoladex and go on to Arimidex as I will be post-menopausal then. My oncologist was brilliant.

My eyesight has changed quite a lot and now that this problem is identified I will be going for my check up at the optician. I am sure I will have a change in my prescription glasses due to the difficulties focusing! I have not suffered too much with dry eyes although it was a problem during chemo. I do think it is poor that we don’t get told this about Tamoxifen. If my optician hadn’t pointed it out then I would be none the wiser.

I hope all your ongoing tests go well


Hiya Tanya!

After reading of your problems I’ve just booked an eye test as I haven’t had my eyes tested for 3 years. It’s rather worrying to read about what changes Tx can cause so thought I’d better get tested regularly while I’m on it just in case.

I’m really sorry you’re going through this but am grateful to you for highlighting this. I had really dry, itchy eyes throughout chemo, but it was more of an effect of really dry skin around me eyes, for which my gp gave me eye drops.

Lots of love, Bella xx

I have noticed floaters and days at a time when my eyes are a bit “dirty”. No-one has told me to go for regular eye checks, although I guess thats pretty obvious… we all should. But you’d think they’d spell it out.

I had my short sightedness lazer treated about 4 years prior to Bc and am bit worried that the corneal damage that was done (to make the cure) in this proceedure makes my eyes more vulnerable.

Havent been to see anyone, been doing a head in the sand so far. Got 3 more years of Tamox to go.

My only problem with talking to the different professionals, eg onc, optician is that no-one knows the answers and they give very general advice which doesnt actually tell you what is happening to you. Is there any point in these check ups? Once we stop taking the drug, wont things go back to normal anyway?

I remember chemo used to knock my eyesight too, but went back to normal after a few days… they dont tell you about that one either.


The good new !!! Our eyes go back to normal after tamoxafin

Hi there everyone, forgot I had posted a comment on the Tamox thread! I’m on Aromisin and the symptoms you all have are the same as mine - what a joy eh? Read all of your comments and it has proved to me that no matter which anti cancer drug we take they all seam to have adverse affects on various bits of us. Eyes have been the most distressing for me as I used to have really good vison. I am going to seriously take this up with the onc on the 17th of June and see if there any diffinative answers or better still treatment to counteract THE treatment if you get my drift.Will keep you all posted, if I remember which thread to go on - it’s an age thing or so THEY tell me. We could blame everything on age but I try not to because prior to BC I was a very young carefree 54 year old with a mind of a 17 year old.
Love and best wishes to you all.
Diane xxxx

forgot I had posted a comment on the Tamox thread