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Vision changes can be a side effect for some people with cancer. Symptoms may include irritated or dry eyes, tearing, redness, pain and blurred vision. This fact sheet will cover:

  • First areas of support
  • National organizations for eye and vision side effects

CancerCare and Your Health Care Team

Tell your health care team, if you have any eye-related changes during or after treatment. At times, treatment can be adjusted. More often, they can guide you to help the side effects.

CancerCare has oncology social workers who can assist with emotional concerns as well as practical information. Call us at 800 813-HOPE (4673).

In addition to the above, CancerCare provides financial assistance for people with ocular cancer or any cancer that has had a severe impact on vision. Grants may be applied towards the costs of transportation, home care, child care, treatment expenses, prescription medications, prosthetic devices and genetic counseling. The program is restricted to residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and is funded by a grant from Lavelle Foundation for the Blind.

Eye and Vision Resources

CancerCare’s Online Helping Hand CancerCare’s Online Helping Hand is a searchable, online database of financial and practical assistance available for people with cancer. This comprehensive online tool features up-to-date contact information and descriptions for hundreds of national and regional organizations offering financial help to people with cancer. You can search by diagnosis, zip code and type of assistance.

EyeCare America 877-887-6327 EyeCare America provides free eye exams for qualifying patients and may be able to provide drug discounts and other assistance. More information is available on their website.

Lions Club International 630-571-5466 Lions Club International provides resources for a number of different focus areas worldwide. A nearby Lions Club may sponsor a program that provides assistance for the access to health-related services, scholarships or educational needs. Visit to locate a local Lions Club.

New Eyes for the Needy 973-376-4903 New Eyes for the Needy helps some individuals acquire prescription eyeglasses through a voucher program for children and adults in the United States who cannot afford glasses on their own. Visit their website for more information.

VSP Global VSP operates through a network of community partners to provide gift certificates for no-cost eye exams and glasses from a local doctor. VSP Eyes of Hope provides assistance to adults and VSP Sight for Students provides assistance to children nineteen years old and younger.

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This fact sheet is supported by the Allene Reuss Memorial Trust.

Last updated Thursday, May 16, 2024

The information presented in this publication is provided for your general information only. It is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are aware of your specific situation. We encourage you to take information and questions back to your individual health care provider as a way of creating a dialogue and partnership about your cancer and your treatment.

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