Vision Changes That Can Occur During Pregnancy
If you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the future, it is helpful to understand the effects pregnancy can have on your eyes and vision. Many expectant mothers do not consider how pregnancy can change their eyes, which can result in confusion and unnecessary stress.
Take a moment to learn from the team at Access Eye what you can expect when you’re expecting. Fortunately, most of the changes that come with pregnancy are minor and temporary!
During pregnancy, you might notice that your vision becomes blurry. This is often due to hormonal changes causing fluid retention.
As your body retains water, fluid can build up in or behind the eyeball, altering the cornea’s shape and thickness. With a misshapen cornea, light passes through the eye differently, leading to impaired or blurry vision. As this happens, you might notice your prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses are not as helpful as usual.
Rest assured that this change is usually temporary, and a permanent change in prescription is generally not needed. For most women, vision returns to its pre-pregnancy baseline after giving birth.
Another side effect of hormonal changes is a potential decrease in tear production, which can cause your eyes to dry out and feel itchy or uncomfortable.
Artificial tears and other over-the-counter medications can soothe dry, irritated eyes. Like any medication, check with your doctor to ensure dry eye medication is safe for expecting mothers.
Vision Changes That Could Be Serious
Now that you know that blurry vision and dry eyes are usually nothing to worry about, you do not have to be alarmed if you experience them. But other vision changes are not so innocent — certain symptoms, such as the appearance of flashing lights, sensitivity to light, “auras” or sudden blind spots, may indicate something more serious happening in your body.
If you experience these or any other troubling vision changes, you should contact your doctor immediately and have your blood pressure and other vitals checked. These vision changes, coupled with high blood pressure, could suggest a condition called preeclampsia.
Diabetes is also a concern during pregnancy, as diabetic pregnant women are at an increased risk of damage to the small blood vessels of the retina. If you have regular or gestational diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels and other vitals and contact your doctor if you experience blurry vision.