Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Sickle Cell Disease: Vision Problems
People who have
sickle cell disease can sometimes have vision
problems. Blood cells that change shape, or "sickle," can get trapped in blood
vessels, blocking the blood flow. When this blockage occurs in the small blood
vessels in the inner lining (retina) of the eyes, it can cause
vision problems. This most often occurs in people who have hemoglobin SC
disease, a type of sickle cell disease.
In the worst cases, the
retina may come loose, leading to permanent blindness.
This may happen suddenly, without any warning.
Early detection can
help prevent these problems. Have your child's eyes checked during the newborn
period and again at all routine well-child visits.footnote 1
And get routine eye exams as an adult. Try to go to a doctor who specializes in
eye problems (ophthalmologist).
American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. (2003, reaffirmed 2007). Policy statement: Eye examination in infants, children, and young adults by pediatricians. Pediatrics, 111(4): 902–907.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMartin Steinberg, MD - Hematology
Current as ofFebruary 5, 2016
Current as of:
February 5, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin Steinberg, MD - Hematology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.