Pregnancy is definitely a really hard time for a woman’s body. Sure, it’s the best feeling in the world, but we can’t neglect the fact that our bodies change tremendously and that there are several aspects of our health that can be affected by the state our body is in. Some of these problems are changes in skin and metabolism, fluid retention, hormones and changes in eyes and your eyesight, affected by blood circulation. And even though most mothers are fine with morning sickness, back pain, feeling tired and having cravings, most of them are more than surprised when they experience heavier changes like heavy acne and, especially, changes in eye sight. It’s even been noted that some women develop a lens prescription when they have never before had troubles with vision.
Still, no need to worry – once the baby is born, eyesight typically returns to normal or just slight changes occur. It’s recommended you have a checkup at your eye doctor just to see how things are going. Sometimes, vision problems that have occurred in pregnancy may require medical attention so it is better you dealt with it in time.
Here are some vision changes you may experience while pregnant:
- Blurry Vision
A common side effect of pregnancy is fluid retention which can change the shape and thickness and of the cornea. Even some minor changes in its shape may lead to distorted and blurry vision. After pregnancy or after you stop breast feeding, these changes usually go away. If the slight changes you experience don’t bother you, you don’t even need to do anything to solve the “problem”. But, if this blurry vision situation messes with your everyday activities, it’s best you talk to your eye doctor.
In case you have a prescription, you may need to change it. If you don’t have prescription, you’ll probably need to start wearing glasses. Still, given that pregnancy is a delicate time for any woman, most doctors will advise against being fitted for new contacts or undergoing surgery while pregnant. As mentioned before, after your pregnancy is over, it’s probable the shape of your cornea will revert to normal.
- Preeclampsia and Vision Problems it causes
Even though not a common problem during pregnancies, it still is a serious matter happening to 5% to 8% future mothers. It is marked by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in urine. Vision changes typically include blurry vision, auras, and temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity and the appearance of flashing lights. If you experience any of these symptoms it is of utmost importance to contact your doctor.
- Dry Eyes
Since during pregnancy hormones do all kinds of stuff to your body, it’s no surprise they mess up with your vision too. Namely, these changes cause the body to produce fewer tears which is why you’ll often feel your eyes are dry, gritty and irritated, sensitive to light and a bit red. Luckily, there are eye drops, so called artificial tears, you can use – they should help with eye strain of this sort. They are designed to lubricate your eyes and ease dryness. In case you are wearing lenses, you need to make sure the lubricant you’ve chosen can be used with contacts. Don’t buy artificial tears without consulting your eye doctor, though. He will know which type to prescribe and what is safe for a pregnant lady.
Things you can further do to help your dry eye syndrome is limit exposure to forced air from radiators or air conditioners as much as possible, as well as staring at a computer screen/phone screen sitting under fluorescent lights. Try spending a certain period of time during the day looking at something green or blue. If you have a yard, look at the plants, the grass let your eyes rest.
If you have diabetes, see an ophthalmologist before you get pregnant to get information on potential risks during pregnancy. When you get pregnant, see him while still in early pregnancy to get screened for damage to the blood vessels in your retina. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy and it is known to usually worsen during pregnancy. This is why you will probably need to get more frequent eye exams. On the other hand, if you have glaucoma, it will probably improve during pregnancy. See your ophthalmologist for potential medication adjustment. This can be even done before the pregnancy, that is – while planning it. By starting you off with as low a dose as possible, your doctor may be able to lessen your baby’s exposure to the medication.