April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month so we thought it would be a good time to talk about women’s eye health during pregnancy. Many women don’t realize that your eyes and vision can undergo some changes during pregnancy along with the many other changes that occur. Many of these vision changes are common while some can actually clue you (and your doctor) into potential complications so it’s important to understand and pay attention to these changes.
Some of the most common vision problems include:
● Blurry vision: This is probably the most common vision change for pregnant women. The curvature of your eye lens can change due to hormones so this doesn’t necessarily mean your prescription has changed if you wear glasses or contacts. However, if you experience blurry vision or floaters in the third trimester, it could be a sign of preeclampsia. It is important to call your doctor if you experience these symptoms.
● Contact lens discomfort: Because of the shift in hormones and fluid during pregnancy, a change in the curvature and thickness of your corneas can occur causing the fit of your contacts to change resulting in some discomfort.
● Dry eyes and puffiness: Dry, gritty, or tired eyes can often occur during pregnancy too. Over-the-counter artificial tears are typically effective and safe to use for relief. Puffiness can also occur but should subside quickly. Sleeping with your head elevated may help with this.
● Migraines: Migraines are common during pregnancy and can result in blurred vision or flashes of light that are typical symptoms that accompany migraines.
● Proliferative diabetic retinopathy: Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are at risk for more serious eye problems like proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
While these changes are often minor and typically go away post pregnancy, it is important to remember to take care of your eyes during pregnancy to avoid any unnecessary discomfort or potential long-term changes. Here is what to keep in mind for healthy eyes during your pregnancy:
● Monitor blood pressure: Because of the high volumes of blood flow during pregnancy, this can result in high blood pressure, which can affect your vision. Monitoring your blood pressure can help prevent any potential complications. If you experience blurry vision, dizziness, or other symptoms, it’s important to discuss these symptoms and concerns with your doctor immediately.
● Wear glasses: Because the curvature of your eyes can change due to hormones as well as dry eye, contacts can be uncomfortable to wear during pregnancy. Wearing your glasses during pregnancy can help avoid this unnecessary discomfort.
● Check blood sugar: Gestational diabetes can cause serious problems with your vision so checking your blood sugar is important if you are diagnosed with this condition during pregnancy.
● Avoid LASIK: LASIK surgery is not recommended during pregnancy or while you are still breastfeeding.
Most vision changes during pregnancy will go back to normal post pregnancy but it is always important to discuss any changes with both your OB/GYN as well as your eye doctor to make sure there are no other more serious conditions that need to be addressed or treated. If you have questions or concerns about your vision, contact us today at (201) 384-7333 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.Leave a reply →