Vision and Pregnancy

A common question that many women come across during their pregnancy is: can my vision change during pregnancy?

During pregnancy a decrease in tear production can be expected, which leads to dryness in eyes, irritation and discomfort. Hormones can also cause fluid buildup in your eyes, similar to how your feet and ankles swell up. Changes such as hormones, blood circulation, metabolism and fluid retention can each affect your eyes and eyesight during your pregnancy. For example, even if it’s a small change, water retention can cause thickness and curvature of the cornea of your eye to slightly increase. It can still affect how well your contacts or glasses correct your vision. If you wear glasses, although it’s unlikely you’ll need to change your prescription, it can still be possible.

Some vision changes can lead to a more serious problem such as Preeclampsia, which is marked by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ. Symptoms can include: light sensitivity, blurry vision or seeing flashing lights. If any of these symptoms occur call your doctor ASAP, or go to the ER.

As mentioned before, many women who experience vision changes, will report that they were minor changes. If any of this happens, here are some tips on what you can do to help:

  • If your eyes get dry, ask your eye doctor to recommend lubricating drops.
  • If you normally use contacts, give your eyes a rest. Consider wearing glasses until after delivery. Or check the label to ensure the drops can be used with the contacts, some contacts contain preservatives that can harm soft lenses. To be more safe, talk to your doctor first to check if the ingredients are safe for pregnant women.
  • Don’t switch to a new prescription. Unless the changes are very pronounced, wait until after delivery when your vision will go back to normal.

Luckily, many of these changes are temporary and will reverse themselves several months after delivery.

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