Pregnancy can affect every part of a woman’s body, eyes included. Blurry vision, dry eyes, uncomfortable contact lenses – these are all common eye problems during pregnancy. Check the list below to learn what may be causing the changes in your vision during pregnancy.
The hormones causing your body to change during pregnancy also reduce the amount of tears your eyes produce. This can result in your eyes feeling dry and irritated. To help relieve the dryness use eye drops recommended by your doctor, wear contact lenses for shorter periods of time and take frequent breaks from your computer screen. Also, avoid being surrounded by forced air from vents as the constant flow of air can exacerbate the condition.
Just as your hands and feet can swell due to fluid retention during pregnancy, parts of your eye can also swell. This can cause blurry vision and even make your contact lenses feel uncomfortable due to the changed shape of the eye. Sometimes glasses may need to be worn instead of contact lenses if the discomfort is too great. However, no change in prescription is necessary, as the blurred vision and discomfort should go away within a few months after delivery.
Blurred vision can also result from retinal changes due to diabetes or gestational diabetes. If you have diabetes and experience blurred vision, let your optometrist and other health care providers know so you can be closely monitored.
Spots, double vision, distorted vision, light sensitivity, eye pain, eye puffiness
These symptoms are much less common and are more serious than the previous symptoms. Let your Eye Doctor or midwife know right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. They can be a sign of preeclampsia, potentially a serious complication of pregnancy involving high blood pressure that needs to be treated right away.
Not all vision changes are bad. Women with glaucoma often find that their condition actually improves during pregnancy! This will result in a lower dose of medicine (which is better for baby, too).
If you do experience dry eyes or blurry vision, take comfort in the fact that it is just a temporary symptom that should disappear within a few months after delivery. As always, schedule an appointment with your eye care professional if you have any questions or concerns about your eye health during pregnancy.