How Pregnancy Affects Your Vision

_DSC5399Swollen ankles, the baby bump, the pregnancy glow…

Pregnancy can make some pretty obvious changes to a woman’s body. Did you know that pregnancy affects an expectant mother’s eyes, too?

Many pregnant women experience a change in their eyesight during pregnancy.

Some of these changes are related to blood circulation, hormones and fluid retention and many of these changes can affect the clarity of a pregnant woman’s vision.

For example, water retention and other fluctuations can affect the curvature of the retina. This can change the way the expectant mom sees AND affect the way her contact lenses fit. There’s also a chance it could make the view through her eyeglasses blurry.

Wearing contact lenses during pregnancy can also cause some discomfort. Optometrists say this is because the shape of retinas can change slightly so lenses don’t fit exactly like they used to.

Dry eye is another common problem in women during pregnancy. Pregnant women must drink much more water than other women, and it’s possible that even when you feel like you’ve drank plenty, your eyes are still drier than usual.

What should you do if you are experiencing visual changes during pregnancy? First, schedule an appointment with your America’s Best optometrist. The doctor can confirm that any vision changes are actually related to pregnancy.

For the most part, it’s best to not get a new pair of glasses during pregnancy. Your eyes will likely change back as soon as you deliver the baby. If your vision has changed to the point where you can no longer see clearly while driving or working, a new, temporary pair of glasses may be the best solution. FYI: Laser vision correction surgery should NOT be an option during pregnancy.

Contact Lenses & Pregnancy

If you wear contact lenses, you may want to talk to your optometrist about prescription strength drops for dry eye. Consider wearing your spare glasses on occasion to help your eyes adjust to your new body chemistry.

For pregnant women with more serious eye conditions, pregnancy can change the way you handle issues like diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. In many cases, diabetic retinopathy will worsen. You will definitely want to stay in close communication with your optometrist during your pregnancy if you know you have diabetes or have been diagnosed with this condition.

Conversely, glaucoma can often get better during pregnancy. If you have glaucoma, you’ll also want to consult your optometrist as soon as you know you are expecting. It’s best to contact your optometrist, especially if you take medication for your condition.

Talk to your Eyeglass World optometrist about other ways to keep your eyes healthy during your pregnancy!