How Pregnancy Affects Your Eyes

Your eyes are sensitive to changes in your body, and pregnancy is a pretty big change. With all the hormones and extra stress on your body, your eyes are bound to feel the effects. Hormones like hCG are usually to blame for most pregnancy side effects, such as water retention. In fact, water retention can affect your eyes, as well.

The good news is that most eye changes you might experience during pregnancy are relatively mild and not permanent.  That said, eye changes during pregnancy are not as commonly talked about as other pregnancy side effects like morning sickness and lower back pain. As a result, they catch women off-guard and can be a bit alarming. Here’s a brief rundown of what you might be able to expect of your eyes during pregnancy.

Dry eyes

Bust out the eye drops, because many women experience dry eyes as a result of pregnancy. This can be very uncomfortable, especially if you wear contact lenses. Dry eye has many symptoms. It can make your eyes itch, blur your vision and even make your eyesight seem as though it’s worsening.

A daily dose of artificial tears can usually solve the problem. Your eyes should return to normal after birth or when you finish breastfeeding should you choose to do so. Always double check your eye drops to make sure they’re safe for use with contact lenses, as some artificial tears have preservatives that can harm soft lenses.

Blurry vision

This can be even more frustrating than dry eyes. Blurred vision is not uncommon amongst pregnant women, and it should clear up with time. If you are still experiencing blurred vision even after stopping breastfeeding, you should talk to your optometrist.

What causes this blurry vision is actually retained fluid. Pregnant women often retain fluid. This retention can change the thickness and shape of your cornea, resulting in slightly distorted vision.

Preeclampsia

Most vision issues in pregnant women are temporary and harmless, albeit a huge nuisance. However, all vision changes should be reported to a doctor, as some rare conditions that pregnant women develop may manifest only as eye discomfort. The most serious of these is preeclampsia, a condition where high blood pressure causes potentially life-threatening complications. If you have blurry vision combined with extreme light sensitivity, temporary vision loss, or are seeing spots, it could be preeclampsia or another serious condition. Do not wait it out, go to a hospital immediately for evaluation.

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