Vision and Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be an amazing experience full of new feelings and the excitement of the arrival of a beautiful baby.  Unfortunately, pregnancy can also throw more than its fair share of curve-balls.  Swollen feet and ankles, back pain, mood swings and, of course, the dreaded “morning sickness” are just the start of the potential side effects of pregnancy. Many pregnant women are surprised when their vision changes. The fact is that hormonal and physical changes that accompany pregnancy can affect eyesight. Let’s examine the vision issues that can accompany pregnancy.

  • Blurry Vision – Water retention (common during pregnancy) may cause the thickness and curvature of the cornea of your eye to increase slightly. It’s a small change, but it could affect how well your glasses or contacts correct your vision. It’s also why laser eye surgery isn’t recommended during pregnancy and why it’s not a good time to be fitted for new contact lenses.
  • Dry Eyes – During pregnancy, some women may notice that their eyes are drier than usual. Dry eyes can make wearing contacts irritating and uncomfortable. Using artificial tears to lubricate eyes may ease dryness.
  • Vision Changes due to Preeclampsia – High blood pressure occurs in 5-8% of pregnancies. Vision changes due to this condition can include: a temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity, blurry vision, auras, and the appearance of flashing lights. Preeclampsia can be a serious condition.  If these symptoms are noticed, contact a doctor or head to an emergency room immediately.
  • Gestational Diabetes and Vision – Pregnancy can also bring about changes in existing eye conditions – for better or for worse. If you have diabetes, see an ophthalmologist before you get pregnant and again in early pregnancy to get screened for damage to the blood vessels in your retina. This condition, called diabetic retinopathy, often worsens during pregnancy, so you’ll need more frequent eye exams while you’re pregnant and in the postpartum period. (Source- The Baby  Center)

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