Pregnancy is an incredibly difficult and simultaneously wonderful time in a woman’s life. Between growing another human, food aversions, and a heightened sense of smell, it can be hard for many to adjust to being pregnant. As if your body wasn’t changing enough already, you may also need to be aware of how pregnancy might affect your eyesight.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms during pregnancy, rest assured that it is totally normal!
- Dry eyes
- Irritated eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
- Eye floaters
- Occasional dark spots
- Flashing lights
- Poorer peripheral vision
Know that these issues are treatable and typically do not last longer than your pregnancy. There are a number of different reasons you might be experiencing these symptoms, and it is important to stay informed in order to keep your eyes as healthy as possible.
Vision changes are a common dilemma for many women during pregnancy, and they may worsen as you get closer to your due date. The symptoms should significantly decrease following the birth of your baby. Before you race to the eye doctor to get a different prescription, you should know what may be causing them.
1. Reduced Tear Production
Pregnancy hormones, ironically, decrease tear production in the eyes. Though you may not feel like you are crying less, your eyes may be experiencing the consequences of lower tear production which can lead to dry eyes, irritation, and overall blurrier vision.
2. Excess Eye Pressure
Just like your hands and your feet tend to swell when pregnant, the same can occur in the socket of your eye. Excess fluid leads to a change in the actual curvature of your eye. This temporary problem could make vision more difficult during your pregnancy.
3. Change in Cornea Thickness
If your eyes begin to feel more sensitive and contacts are becoming uncomfortable to wear, chances are your cornea has experienced a change in thickness which has led to blurry vision and more discomfort.
Now that you know you may come across some vision issues during pregnancy, it is important to know how to deal with them when they arise. There are a number of fairly easy ways to give your eyes the care they need.
Keep Eye Drops On Hand At All Times
Talk to your doctor to confirm which eye drops are pregnancy-safe, and make sure to always have them close at hand in case dryness presents itself. The great news is that artificial tears are convenient to buy and relatively cheap. So, if you are experiencing these symptoms and need more immediate relief, you can head to your nearest drugstore for eye drops.
Limit Screen Time and Give Your Eyes A Rest
Staring at a screen all day can irritate anyone’s eyes. Blue light that comes from phone, television, and computer screens can have effects on sensitive eyes during pregnancy. If you are someone who has to be on a screen for a good portion of the day, it is important to plan to take breaks for a few minutes every hour, close your eyes, and be aware of the fact that you may be extra-sensitive to this type of light temporarily.
Consider Swapping Your Contacts For Glasses
Your sensitive and irritated eyes may become increasingly bothered by your contacts during pregnancy. It might be wise to plan to use glasses during this time. This would only be a temporary solution for a temporary problem.
Do Not Overcorrect
It is important to understand that while everyone experiences different variations of these issues, they should subside as soon as your pregnancy ends. Doctors advise staying away from LASIK surgery as early as 6 months before conception, during pregnancy, and up to 6 months post-delivery. Knowing that vision issues are a common symptom of pregnancy will prevent you from over-correcting your eyesight which could cause more issues when your pregnancy symptoms decrease.
Each woman is different, and there is no way to know how pregnancy will affect you before it happens. It is important to stay informed so you are able to better prepare. You may experience varying levels of vision complications or even none at all.