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So, you’re expecting? Congrats, mama! Pregnancy can affect the body in many ways, some not as widely discussed as others.
During pregnancy, changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation can affect vision. If your vision does change during pregnancy, don’t sweat it. It will probably be minor, temporary and reversible. Things should return to normal within a few months of delivery.
If you wear glasses, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to adjust your prescription, although it’s possible. If you think your vision has changed significantly, consult your Midwest Eye Consultants doctor to discuss any pressing concerns.
Many of the issues expectant mothers experience related to vision are more of a nuisance than serious medical problems. For example, you may notice your eyes are dry and irritated, a common condition known as dry eye. Ask your eye doctor about safe remedies for dry eyes. Some over-the-counter products are fine to use, but others contain active ingredients that should be avoided. Taking regular breaks from screens is a good practice to reduce eye strain.
Some pregnant women experience migraine headaches that may bring about visual disturbances, such as bright flashes of light, zigzag lines, blind spots, or even temporary loss of vision. Again, this is related to changes in hormone levels and it’s probably temporary and won’t require immediate medical attention.
You should also know that pregnancy can also worsen existing eye conditions. For example, if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this condition often worsens during pregnancy. If this applies to you, it’s important that you see your Midwest Eye Consultants eye doctor before you get pregnant and again in early pregnancy to get screened for damage to the blood vessels in your retina (diabetic retinopathy). You’ll also need to have more frequent eye exams while you’re pregnant and just after delivery.
While the symptoms mentioned above are usually temporary and do not require follow up, it’s important to monitor them. Some changes in vision can be indicative of more serious conditions, such as high blood pressure. About one in four women with severe preeclampsia and half with eclampsia experience visual symptoms, which tend to worsen as the condition becomes more severe. If you experience blurred vision, inability to focus the eyes, blind spots, double vision, and flashes of light, it’s best to see your OB to make sure everything is OK.
Pregnancy is an exciting time. Your Midwest Eye Consultants doctor is happy to be a part of your journey. If you suspect something is wrong, make an appointment sooner rather than later. Here’s to you, mama!