While you already know that pregnancy changes your body substantially, you might not realize the extent that it affects most systems and organs–including your eyes. And while most of these changes are temporary, eye issues during pregnancy can also signal serious health problems. It is easy to get paranoid about the little changes that occur to your body throughout the pregnancy. That is why it is important to recognize the difference between common bodily occurrences and harmful symptoms that could be harmful to you and the baby. Read on for more information about how pregnancy changes your eye sight and when you should talk to a doctor about your vision.
1. Dry Eyes
The hormones released in your body during pregnancy can result in dry, itchy, uncomfortable eyes. The good news is that according to All About Eyes, this condition is often treatable with a few lifestyle changes. Try artificial tears, use of a humidifier if your home is arid, and wearing sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors. Avoid staring at a screen for too long in order to make sure you are routinely blinking so your eyes are well moistened. If these steps don’t help, a visit to the eye doctor may be in order.
2. Blurry Vision
This side effect occurs when fluid retained during pregnancy distorts the shape of the cornea, which in turn distorts the images received by your brain. In most cases, these effects go away on their own after you deliver your baby. If you’re bothered by vision changes, though, consider getting a new glasses prescription for the duration of your pregnancy. You shouldn’t get fitted for new contacts or have Lasik surgery while you’re pregnant, since the changed shape of the cornea will make any measurements and adjustments inaccurate after the baby is born.
3. Vision Loss/Light Sensitivity/Auras
Even though these three symptoms are quite different, they are all potential signs of a serious medical condition called preeclampsia. With preeclampsia, high blood pressure puts you and your unborn child in danger. If you have trouble seeing, feel pain or discomfort in bright lighting, or notice auras, halos, flashing lights, or any other disturbing visual symptoms, go to the emergency room to avoid life-threatening complications of this condition.
In addition, vision loss or severe blurriness may be an indication of gestational diabetes, caused when high blood sugar damages the retina. If you have been diagnosed with this form of diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions to control your blood sugar and have it monitored frequently to avoid permanent damage to your eye. And if you haven’t been diagnosed but are noticing vision symptoms, talk with your doctor right away.
Changes in vision occur for many pregnant woman and is usually nothing to worry about. However, some signs can be a warning signal for more serious problems. You know your body best so if you feel something is wrong or a little off, don’t second guess yourself. When in doubt, get medical attention if you’re bothered by these types of symptoms or feel it could be a sign of other issues. Always keep your health your top priority while pregnant.