Your Vision May Change During Pregnancy – Here Are 5 Reasons

A pregnant woman's body undergoes several physical transformations. The changes in the hormone levels and physical changes that accompany the pregnancy can affect expecting mother's eyesight. At least 50 percent of expecting mothers experience some sort of changes in their normal vision during pregnancy. The changes in the eyesight sometimes can be very much noticeable. However, the good news is, the change is almost always transitory.  The eyesight more often returns to normal after delivery. Still, some eye issues that surface during pregnancy may require medical attention.

The common factors that affect the normal eye vision are:

#1. Fluid retention:

Just like how fluid retention results in swollen ankles and bloating, it can also affect the cornea of the eyes. The cornea may swell from excess fluid accumulation. This alters the shape and the size of the cornea (even though microscopically) and results in vision change resulting in blurred vision. Fortunately, these changes will (more often) reverse back to normal after delivery. However, if it alters your vision significantly, talk to your doctor and consider getting a pair of new glasses. No need to go for branded one, as the need of glass may be temporary.

#2. Contact lens:

About 25% of pregnant women who wear contact lenses find their lenses become dry and wearing the lens become uncomfortable during pregnancy, irrespective of the fact that they used it for years. As explained above, the change in the corneal curvature due to fluid retention can hinder the normal fitting of a contact lens.  Therefore, most doctors will advise not to wear contact lenses during pregnancy.

#3. Eye dryness:

Eye dryness is very common among expecting mothers. The changes in hormones can affect tear gland and production of tears, inducing eye irritation and discomfort. Using over-the-counter eye drops that are safe for pregnant women is a remedy. Eye dryness is another reason to avoid contact lens during pregnancy as the contact lens increases the evaporation rate of the eyes thereby increasing the chances of dry eyes. It is better to switch to the regular glass for the time being.

#4. Hypertension:

Let it be pregnancy-induced hypertension or pre-existing hypertension, high blood pressure during the pregnancy can pave the way to abnormal vision changes. Having either pre-existing hypertension or gestational hypertension implies you are more likely to develop preeclampsia, a potentially serious issue that develops in 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies. Preeclampsia should be detected and treated on time. If not, it could even cause retinal detachment, resulting in loss of vision. Blurred vision and the appearance of flashing lights in front of eyes during pregnancy indicate the chances of preeclampsia.

#5. Gestational diabetes:

Gestational diabetes may harshly damage the small blood vessels that supply blood to the retina. This can often hamper the eyesight and results in blurry vision

Glaucoma & Pregnancy:

While pregnancy affect your vision in different ways, keep in mind that it minimizes the impact of some significant issues  like glaucoma. Glaucoma refers to a condition in which the optic nerve is damaged as a result of highly elevated pressure in the eye during pregnancy. However, your eye pressure tends to decrease, perhaps due to the changes in hormone levels. This more often results in getting better the pre-existing symptoms of glaucoma. However, glaucoma medications are found to affect the fetus. Therefore, women who are on glaucoma medications should consult with their doctor even before becoming pregnant.