Pregnancy and Vision

Most expecting mothers know that they may have morning
sickness or lower back pain. But many pregnant women are surprised when their
vision changes. The fact is hormonal and physical changes that accompany
pregnancy can affect eyesight. Fortunately, vision problems are usually minor
and temporary. Eyesight typically returns to normal after your baby is born.
Some vision problems associated with pregnancy may require medical attention,
Here are four vision problems to be aware of when you are
1. Dry Eyes during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you may notice that your eyes are drier
than usual. Dry eyes can make wearing contacts irritating and uncomfortable.
What to do: Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes and
ease dryness. If you wear contacts, be sure to check the label to make sure the
lubricant can be used with contacts. Ordinary artificial tears have preservatives
that can harm soft contact lenses. Also, check with your doctor first to make
sure the active ingredients are safe for pregnant women.
2. Blurry Vision When You’re Pregnant
Fluid retention, a common side effect of pregnancy, can
change the thickness and shape of the cornea. Minor changes in its shape may
result in blurry or distorted vision. Fortunately, these changes usually go
away after pregnancy or after you stop breast feeding.
What to do: You may not need to do anything if the changes
don’t bother you. If your vision alters significantly, however, talk to your
doctor. You may need to change your prescription if you wear glasses. Most eye
experts advise against getting Lasik surgery or being fitted for new contacts
during pregnancy. The reason: the shape of your cornea will revert to normal
after your pregnancy is over.
3. Preeclampsia and Vision Problems
Vision changes can be a sign of preeclampsia, a potentially
serious problem that occurs in 5% to 8% of pregnancies. Preeclampsia is marked
by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in urine. Vision changes
typically include temporary loss of vision, light sensitivity, blurry vision,
auras, and the appearance of flashing lights.
What to do: If you experience any of these vision symptoms,
call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room. Preeclampsia can
progress rapidly and cause bleeding problems and other serious complications.
4. Gestational Diabetes and Vision Problems
High blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage
the small blood vessels that supply the retina of the eye. The risk of damage
goes up during pregnancy. A temporary form of diabetes that sometimes occurs
during pregnancy, called gestational diabetes, can also cause blurred vision.
What to do: If you have diabetes, your condition should be
closely monitored during pregnancy. If you develop gestational diabetes, your
condition should be monitored to keep your blood sugar levels from climbing too
high. Your doctor will help advise you.


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