Pregnancy and Your Eyes

Pregnancy changes our bodies in so many ways, but did you know it can affect you eyesight?

Along with a host of other bodily changes, pregnancy can affect your eyes and quality of vision.  While these changes are usually due to hormones and temporary, they can also signal more serious conditions.  Here are 5 common pregnancy-related eye issues that women experience:
 
Pregnancy and Blurred Vision
Swelling that occurs during pregnancy can affect your eyes and may cause mild changes to your prescription. You may have trouble focusing up close, seeing at a distance or seeing with your peripheral vision. For most women, this is usually temporary and these vision changes are not enough to warrant a prescription change or new glasses during pregnancy.
 
Pregnancy and Dry Eyes
Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, your eyes may feel very dry. The quality or quantity of your tears may change substantially while you are pregnant. Dryness can sometimes cause your eyes to itch, burn or feel like a piece of sand is in your eye. Your Optometrist will likely recommend the use of artificial tears several times a day to alleviate discomfort. 
 
Pregnancy and Contact Lens Wear
Many pregnant women find wearing contact lenses intolerable, even if they have worn them for years. During pregnancy, subtle changes occur to the shape of the cornea (the front transparent part of the eye). Contact lenses that once felt very comfortable may suddenly fit differently due to swelling and changes in the curve of the cornea.
 
Pregnancy and Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you are susceptible to the development or worsening of diabetic retinopathy during your pregnancy. Pregnant women who suffer from diabetes may develop bleeding or fluid leakage in the back of the eye, which can cause blurred vision and in some cases, significant vision loss.  Women who have any type of diabetes should have at least one eye examination during pregnancy.
 
Pregnancy and Floaters
Pregnant women who complain of ‘floaters’ in their vision are taken very seriously. These spots could be scotomata (dark areas in the field of vision where vision is diminished). Unlike floaters, which move across the visual field and are often normal (whether pregnant or not), scotomata are much more serious. In the majority of cases however, mild vision changes that occur during pregnancy are normal and will resolve on their own. 
 
Milton Optometry recommends comprehensive eye exams every year, and welcome infants, toddlers and children of all ages to our family-friendly office!  Visit www.miltonoptometry.ca or phone 905-636-9500 to reserve an appointment for your family.
 
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