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Eye checks on Tamoxifen

2 REPLIES 2
catseye
Member

Re: Eye checks on Tamoxifen

The risk factors that Eyedoc lists for Macular Degeneration, (often referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration - ARMD) , such as getting old, smoking, UV exposure, genes are quite right and therefore unrelated to Tamoxifen. However, there are other well documented ocular side effects of Tamoxifen including the formation of retinal crystals, which may occur at the macula, (the most sensitive part of the retina), and these changes can have a very similar appearance to some forms of ARMD.

Tamoxifen has also been associated with corneal changes, cataract, and very rarely optic neuritis, (affecting the optic nerve). Therefore Moorcow's optometrist, (lovely John), is correct and although these adverse reactions are pretty uncommon, I think it makes sense to have regular, perhaps annual, eye examinations.

 

Incidentally, UK optometrists are qualified  - and required -to detect eye disease, and to refer onward to a GP or Ophthalmologist where necessary.  If you regularly attend the same practitioner, they will have recorded "baseline data" ie how your eyes looked before you started Tamoxifen, so any subsequent changes can be monitored and reported to the GP/Onc/Ophthalmologist.

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Eye checks on Tamoxifen

I hope you mean ophthalmologist instead of optician as there is a huge difference in the medical training of each of those titles. MD is the degree of an ophthalmologist and the optician is just trained in how to fit glasses and contacts--NO medical training. Optometrists have included some training, but not to the degree that an MD has. I attend ARVO (the Association for Research in Vision and Opthalmology) yearly and have NEVER seen any association of macular degeneration and tamoxifen. It occurs mostly in those elderly persons who have it in their family, who have smoked, have poor nutrition or abused sunlight without sunglass protection. Research shows that it is genetically in the genes that are part of the immune system and tamoxifen would not be classified as affection that part of us.
moorcow
Member

Eye checks on Tamoxifen

HI everyone, I just went for my first eye check since starting Tamoxifen - very occasionally it apparently can cause some eye difficulties. Anyway the super gorgeous John the optician has said he will do two checks every 6 months to ensure all is OK, one is to check macular degeneration and one is to check optic nerve. Just letting you know in case anyone wants to ask their optician for the same - he said it was gold standard preventative care and he would want his wife to have it if it was her.
Lovely lovely man, made my day! Anyone in the north east if you want to PM me I can give you his details.
bw Nicola