When you are expecting, you are prepared for all the changes that happen in your body. From the moment you conceive, your body starts a myriad of changes to accommodate and support your developing fetus. While most of these changes are well known and expected, what many women don’t know is that pregnancy can also affect your vision. And these changes are not always benign. In this blog, we will discuss the various changes and conditions that can affect your vision during pregnancy, and what you can do to manage them.
One of the most common changes that women experience during pregnancy is dry eyes. This is because pregnancy hormones can affect the quality and quantity of the tears produced by your eyes. This can lead to redness, itching, and discomfort. However, there are steps you can take to manage this condition. Using artificial tear drops, avoiding smoking or secondhand smoke, and taking frequent breaks from screens can help ease the discomfort.
Another common vision change that can occur during pregnancy is blurred vision. This may be caused by hormonal changes or other factors such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. You may also have fluctuating vision or experience spots or floaters. While most changes in vision during pregnancy are not serious, it is essential to consult your doctor if you notice any significant changes in your vision.
Pre-existing Eye Conditions:
If you have pre-existing vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, pregnancy can exacerbate these conditions. This is because pregnancy hormones can affect the fluid in your cornea and change the shape of your eye. This can affect the way the eye bends light, changing your prescription. Your doctor may advise you to wait until after delivery to adjust your prescription in case your vision returns to its previous levels post-pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects some women during pregnancy. It occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin to process blood sugar. This can lead to high blood sugar levels that can damage your eyes. Gestational diabetes can lead to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which can cause vision loss or even blindness. It is essential to schedule regular checkups with your doctor, who will monitor your blood sugar levels and advise you on any necessary interventions.
Preeclampsia is a severe condition that can affect pregnant women and their unborn babies. It is characterized by high blood pressure, damage to organs such as the kidneys and liver, and fluid in the lungs. Preeclampsia can also cause changes in vision, ranging from sensitivity to light to temporary vision loss. These symptoms can indicate severe complications, and it is essential to seek emergency medical care if you experience any of them.
Pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing experience, but it can also be associated with many changes and challenges. It is crucial to stay informed about all the potential changes that can occur during pregnancy, including vision changes. Regular checkups with your obstetrician and the doctors at Illinois Eye Center can help you manage any vision issues that arise, protecting both your vision and the health of your developing baby. By being aware of the potential changes in your vision and taking steps to mitigate them, you can ensure a healthier pregnancy experience. If you’re pregnant and experiencing changes in vision, give Illinois Eye Center a call at 309-243-2400 or click here to schedule an appointment. If your change in vision is sudden and urgent, you may want to be seen for a same-day appointment at our EyeCareTODAY clinic in Peoria. EyeCareTODAY accepts walk in patients Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 4:00pm.