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Eye Health And Care During Pregnancy

January 5, 2017

Every so often we get questions about changes in vision and eye care during pregnancy. Some people are surprised to find out that pregnancy can affect your vision, and may even require changes in the way you take care of your eyes. While you should always speak with your doctor about any changes in your vision, here are some of the more common effects of pregnancy on your eyes, and what you can do to mitigate them.

Changes In The Cornea

While pregnant, a woman’s body may retain more water, and this in turn can cause the thickness and curvature of the cornea to change. As you can imagine, even a small change in the shape of your cornea can lead to a change in vision. You may experience a difference in how well your glasses or contacts correct your vision. This generally isn’t a good time to get a new prescription for contacts or glasses, as your vision will soon return to normal. It’s also recommended that you don’t get LASIK while pregnant for the same reasons.

Dry Eye

If you’re experiencing dry eye, you should talk with your doctor before using eye drops to relieve the symptoms. Some include ingredients that may not be totally safe during pregnancy. If you’re using contacts, you may want to try switching to glasses more often, as the contacts can irritate already dry eyes.

If you’re experiencing chronic dry eye, and drops don’t seem to be working, then you may need more advanced treatments. Our Dry Eye Care Center excels at bringing individualized dry eye treatments to our patients.

Diabetes

If you have diabetes, the chances that high blood sugar levels could damage the blood vessels in your eyes increases. Make sure you keep a close eye on your diabetes while pregnant, and have your eyes checked more frequently in order to quickly detect any changes.

Glaucoma

On the other hand, if you suffer from glaucoma, your symptoms may actually get better. During pregnancy the pressure on your eyes may actually decrease, meaning you could lower the dosage of the drug you use to treat your glaucoma. This will also help reduce the amount of medicine your baby is exposed to. Always talk with your doctor before making any changes in your medication, however.

Preeclampsia

The last condition that may accompany pregnancy is rare, but potentially very serious. Preeclampsia may cause changes in your vision, and it’s important to know the signs and immediately contact your doctor if you notice them.

  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seeing flashing lights or spots
  • Temporary loss of vision

Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can progress rapidly, so don’t hesitate to get medical help if you experience any of these symptoms.

The hormonal and physical changes that accompany pregnancy can also affect your vision, so it’s important to note any changes to your vision and have regular eye appointments. If you’d like more information, or would like to schedule an appointment, then contact OCLI today.

 

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