Dr. Jim Martin 06/19/2014

pregnant_glasses.jpgWhen a woman is pregnant, one of the surprising side effects is changes to vision. Pregnant women are going through massive hormonal and physical changes as pregnancy advances. As a result of these changes, pregnant women often have questions about vision changes.

How Does Pregnancy Change Your Eyes?

Changes in hormones, metabolism, blood circulation, and fluid retention can cause noticeable changes in your eyes. Most changes are minor. However, some need medical attention to prevent permanent damage.

Some conditions that affect vision during pregnancy can be very serious.

Preeclampsia is a condition in which the pregnant woman has abnormally high blood pressure and high levels of protein in the blood. This condition can be very serious and life threatening to both the mother and baby. The change in blood pressure can lead to vision changes.

Another condition that can cause vision changes is gestational diabetes. In this condition, the mother experiences high blood sugar levels which can damage the small blood vessels in the retina. Left untreated, this condition can lead to problems with the pregnancy and cause permanent damage to the eye.

Will It Return To Normal?

In the vast majority of cases, after the pregnancy ends, and the body returns to normal, vision returns to what is was before the pregnancy. However, some conditions, left untreated, can cause permanent damage to vision. Getting a clear diagnosis and quick treatment can make all the difference.

Why Are Your Eyes Dry During Pregnancy?

Dry eye syndrome is quite common, especially in women on their second or subsequent pregnancy. The exact cause is not known, but researchers suspect it is due to a natural drop in androgen levels. This changes the amount of tears or type of tears produced, which leaves the eyes drier than normal. This can cause redness, a gritty feeling in the eye, watery eyes on windy days, or sticky eyes upon waking.

Why Are Your Eyes Blurry During Pregnancy?

The hormone changes that cause dry eyes can also lead to blurry eyes.

Another issue is fluid retention. As fluid pressure builds up in the eye, it can change the curvature of the eye, causing vision changes, including blurring. After the pregnancy ends, the fluid retention will reduce and the eye should return to its normal shape.

Can You Wear Contacts While You Are Pregnant?

The answer is yes. However, if your eyes are dry or your vision is blurry, you may find your contacts are uncomfortable. If you are having pain when wearing your contacts, remove them immediately.

If you are pregnant and experiencing unexpected eye issues, get professional advice at Broome Optical. These Amarillo eye doctors can help diagnose exactly what is going on and give you advice on how to handle it. Contact us today.

Guest Blogger, Dr. Mai-Vy Hoang
Graduated from West Texas A&M
Graduated from University of Houston College of Optometry with a Doctorate Degree in Optometry.
Northeastern Oklahoma State University College of Optometry  

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