Whether you are well into your second trimester or have just discovered that you’re pregnant, you’re well aware of the changes your body will undergo. Some of the challenges you can expect include an expanding belly to accommodate the growing baby. But you might be surprised at other changes. For instance, you may be less familiar with how pregnancy affects your sight and eye health.
Can Pregnancy Affect Your Vision?
If you’re pregnant and have started experiencing changes in your eyesight, you’re not alone. The physical and hormonal changes that come with pregnancy could also affect your eyesight. While most changes aren’t serious, most of them will make you feel uncomfortable. Knowing how pregnancy affects your vision will help you prepare for the normal changes and recognize the symptoms that indicate more critical problems.
It’s common for a woman to experience blurriness and changes to her vision throughout her pregnancy. This results from the accumulation of excess fluid in the cornea, which causes it to change in shape and size. The result is blurry vision. Fortunately, your vision will return to normal soon after you give birth or stop breastfeeding.
So, if you notice a change in visual acuity, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. If the change in vision is slight, your current eyeglass prescription should be fine. But if your vision is severely blurred, see a doctor immediately. They will examine your eyes to check if other conditions could be contributing to the blurry vision.
Before you became pregnant, you may have experienced dry eyes after staring at your computer screen for too long. Throughout your pregnancy, however, you may notice that your eyes are drier than usual more often. The hormonal changes that come with the baby bump have an impact on your tear ducts. Specifically, the organs may not produce as much moisture as they used to. This reduces the level of lubrication, which makes your eyes feel dry and uncomfortable.
You’ll, therefore, want to invest in good eye drops and carry them with you at all times. While most over-the-counter eye drops are safe for use during pregnancy, you should consult your doctor to ensure you’re using a high-quality product. If you wear contact lenses, you may have to switch to eyeglasses to alleviate the dryness.
Other Issues That Require Medical Attention
Most vision issues linked to pregnancy are usually minor and temporary. Your sight should revert to normal soon after the baby is born. Still, there are other conditions that require medical attention. These include:
- Preeclampsia: This condition is quite rare, typically occurring in 5-8% of pregnancy cases. Some symptoms of this disorder include high blood pressure, temporary vision loss, light sensitivity and seeing auras or flashing lights. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.
- Gestational Diabetes: This is a form of diabetes that exclusively affects pregnant women. High blood sugar levels could damage the small network of blood vessels that serve the retina. This could lead to other critical eye problems. Women with this condition should get a special exam.
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It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re at risk for developing either of these conditions, you need to work closely with your eye doctor and general health care physician. Together, these specialists will help you maintain good eye health for the remainder of your pregnancy.
When you are pregnant and you notice visual changes, be sure to contact your eye doctor immediately. An experienced optometrist will be able to maintain your eye health. It is also important to schedule eye exams on a regular basis. At Optometric Eye Services, all of our eye doctors are fully trained and have the experience to understand what you and your loved ones need to achieve optimal eye health. Our staff is professional, caring, and interested in providing each patient with quality vision solutions.
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