Pregnancy can have many surprising side effects. One that many women are surprised by is a change in their vision. Your changing hormones can change the amount of liquid flow to your eyes, which can slightly change the shape of your eyes and result in blurry vision. Additionally, you may experience dry or itchy eyes throughout your pregnancy. If you are pregnant, there are a few things you should keep in mind about vision issues during pregnancy.
Practice Basic Eye Hygiene
Throughout your pregnancy you should practice good eye hygiene. For the most part, this entails wearing sunglasses when you are outside on a bright day, giving your eyes plenty of breaks from screens such as televisions and computers, and getting a regular eye exam from your eye doctor if you are due for one. Additionally, you will want to make sure to keep your eyes well-lubricated. If you notice that your eyes are red, itchy, or irritated, you should use basic saline drops several times a day to relieve the symptoms.
Consider Switching from Contacts to Glasses
If you wear contact lenses, especially hard contact lenses, you may want to switch to glasses for the duration of your pregnancy. As your eyes change shape, it can be difficult to get a good fit with your contact lenses, which can lead to irritation and even damage to your cornea. If you are unable to wear glasses, talk to your optometrist about switching to soft contact lenses with an updated prescription to better fit your eyes.
Decide Whether You Should Get a New Prescription for Your Glasses
In general, the advice for pregnant women experiencing vision changes is to simply wait it out, as your vision will return to normal after you give birth. However, if you have significant vision changes, a new prescription can be worth the cost, as it can prevent headaches and make everyday activities such as driving a vehicle safer for you and those around you. For some women, it is better to purchase new glasses rather than deal with pregnancy symptoms unnecessarily. You should know that during pregnancy and for a few months afterwards, you should avoid permanent corrective solutions such as surgery, as there is a possibility of over-correcting your vision.
Be Aware of Signs of a Serious Problem
Some vision problems can be a sign of serious pregnancy conditions, such as preeclampsia. You should let your midwife or doctor know about changes in vision, especially double vision, sensitivity to light, temporary loss of vision, or seeing spots. This way, your midwife or doctor can check you for underlying conditions that may be causing these vision changes.
Don't Assume Your Vision Issues Are Solely Due to Your Pregnancy
If you are experiencing vision issues during pregnancy, they may not be due solely to your pregnant condition. For example, if you have a small tumor before pregnancy, your hormonal shifts during pregnancy may cause the tumors to grow to an extent that you begin to have vision problems. Additionally, if you had pre-existing vascular issues in and around your eyes, these may be exacerbated by pregnancy. Because your vision symptoms may be related to a more serious underlying condition, it is important to talk with an ophthalmologist if you experience extreme or sudden vision changes.
Caring for your health during pregnancy is a task that should be met on several fronts. It is important to keep communication with your midwife or obstetrician open at all times, even if your symptoms do not seem pregnancy related. At the same time, it is important to visit a specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, if you are experiencing severe vision changes during pregnancy.