Dr. Jim Martin 04/12/2016

pregnancy_diabetes.jpgMost women understand some of the things they have to endure while pregnant, such as morning sickness and lower back pain. It's a natural part of the process as your body goes through many changes. But did you know that pregnancy can also affect your vision?

Many women are surprised when their vision changes while they're pregnant, and that these changes are also part of the natural hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy. With April being Women's Eye Care and Safety Month, it's a great time to look at what vision problems you may experience during pregnancy and why.

Dry Eyes

Your eyes may feel dryer than usual. If you're a contact wearer, especially, this can cause some discomfort. One solution is to wear your contacts for a shorter period of time than usual. You can also use re-wetting drops available over-the-counter. Make sure the drops you use are suitable for contacts as ordinary artificial tears have chemicals that can damage contacts. Take frequent breaks from staring at computers and other electronic devices during the day because this can also cause dry eyes. Switch to a daily disposable contact lens may also help.  The good news is that dry eyes during pregnancy are usually a temporary condition that will go away after you've had your baby.

Blurry Vision

Another common side effect of pregnancy is fluid retention, which can change the shape of the cornea. Such changes can result in blurry or distorted vision. Again, these changes are usually temporary and go away after the pregnancy, or after you stop breastfeeding. These changes aren't typically significant enough to warrant changing your prescription for glasses and contacts. If you feel that your vision has changed significantly, however, contact your eye care professional.

Preeclampsia and Vision Problems

Preeclampsia is a potentially serious problem that occurs in a small percentage of pregnancies. It's usually characterized by high blood pressure and potential damage to another organ. Vision changes include light sensitivity, blurry vision, flashing lights and even temporary loss of vision. Seek medical help immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that sometimes occur during pregnancy and cause blurred vision. High sugar levels associated with diabetes can damage the small blood vessels that supply the retina.


Another common side effect of pregnancy is puffiness around the eyes. You can help relieve this by drinking more water while also limiting your sodium intake.  Applying cold compresses to the eyes may also help relieve this issue.

Getting regular eye examinations is crucial for maintaining optimal eye health and vision.  It is especially important if you’re experiencing vision changes or issues during pregnancy.  Contact one of the eye professionals at Broome Optical today.

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