Pregnancy and Your Vision
Pregnancy causes a lot of very obvious changes in a woman’s body, but it may surprise you to know that it can even affect her eyes and vision! If you or someone you know is pregnant or even just in the planning stages, we have some helpful information regarding what to expect from your eyes during that exciting time.
There are a few things that can contribute to changes in vision when a woman is expecting, including metabolism and blood pressure. However, pregnancy hormones are also often to blame. The hormone decreases tear production which often causes dry eyes and irritation. Water retention is the culprit of swelling, not only notoriously in the ankles and feet, but also in the eye. The very slight swelling can change the curvature of the cornea, which causes astigmatism* and blurred vision.
Changes in vision are normal during pregnancy and shouldn’t be cause for concern. However, severe changes in vision shouldn’t be taken lightly and could be signs of underlying conditions such as preeclampsia/high blood pressure and/or gestational diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels that supply the retina, so the risk of damage goes up during pregnancy due to gestational diabetes. Notify your doctor if you are experiencing severe blurred vision, increased sensitivity to light, double vision, temporary loss of vision or flashing lights/spots.
Fortunately, minor, uncomfortable changes in vision during pregnancy are usually temporary. Most women’s vision goes back to normal a few months after delivery and breast feeding so there’s no need to run out get a new prescription or try to over correct the blurred vision. Women who are experiencing dry eyes can ask their doctor for a safe over the counter lubricant for relief and may also consider giving their contact lenses a rest if they feel like they are irritating their eyes. Also, as always, giving your eyes a break from the computer screen can help alleviate some of the dryness.
If you are experiencing any changes in your vision, West Georgia Eyecare is here to help. You can schedule your next exam by clicking here.
*You can check out our previous blog to learn all about Astigmatism by clicking here