Morning sickness, body tenderness, nausea… these are all expected physical changes during pregnancy. But what about vision changes? Hormonal and physical transformations that come with pregnancy can also affect eyesight.
Eden Prairie Eye Care is here to help you understand these changes (and why they happen).
Vision Conditions to Keep an Eye On
Here are four problems to look out for:
Blurred Vision: Slight vision changes are common for women pregnant to experience and can result in blurred vision. This is likely caused by refractive changes (changes in eye structure/shape) thanks to increased fluid retention. Most of the time, these changes are temporary, with vision returning to normal after delivery. However, there are some cases of permanent changes - which may simply require a new prescription.
Dry Eye: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can impact the quality or quantity of tears, leading to dry eye. This causes burning, itching, and excessive watering. An optometrist can recommend treatments, such as artificial tears, to help alleviate dry eye discomfort.
Diabetes: High blood sugar levels linked to diabetes can damage the small blood vessels that supply the retina. The chances go up as pregnancy progresses. Pregnant women can also develop a temporary form of diabetes called gestational diabetes. This can potentially lead to permanent vision damage. Women with diabetes or gestational diabetes should see their optometrist once per trimester to monitor the blood vessels in the eye and to ensure appropriate steps are being taken.
Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a serious condition that occurs only during pregnancy. Symptoms include temporary vision loss, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and seeing spots. If left untreated, preeclampsia can lead to serious complications like liver failure or cardiovascular issues.
Pregnant women with existing eye conditions, such as glaucoma, could make symptoms during pregnancy could be more severe. An optometrist should be aware of any current or developing vision issues and so they can provide appropriate eye care throughout the pregnancy.
How To Know If Your Vision Problems During Pregnancy Are Serious
Although many vision changes caused during pregnancy are temporary, occasionally they could be indications of serious (and dangerous) conditions. Some symptoms to keep an eye on include:
Rises in blood pressure
Loss of vision
Auras of flashing light
Sensitivity to light
Discuss all changes to your eyesight with your doctor, no matter how minimal. Checking on all unusual symptoms can help ensure a healthy pregnancy from start to finish.
Questions About Pregnancy and Your Vision?
Need a trusted eye care professional to weigh-in on your vision changes? Have questions about eye care or vision correction during pregnancy? Make an appointment with Dr. Oker today!
Schedule an appointment today at (952) 944-2792 or via our online platform. The team at Eden Prairie Eye Care will provide you with the information and support you need for healthy vision during your pregnancy!