EYE CARE TIPS FOR MOMS-TO-BE: HOW PREGNANCY CAN AFFECT YOUR EYES
To say pregnancy is a whirlwind is an understatement. Our bodies change size and shape, we get morning sickness, aversions to foods or smells, experience heartburn, and retain water. We can also experience anxiety, depression and high blood pressure. But did you know that your eyes can be affected as well?
It’s quite common to have slight vision changes during your pregnancy (and for as long as you are breastfeeding) and any existing conditions may be made worse before delivery. Some of the most common changes include blurred vision and dry eyes, but not to worry, these symptoms usually clear up within the first six to nine months after delivery. Your optometrist may recommend waiting until after baby comes before you change a prescription or get new glasses to give your eyes time to fully adjust.
Hormones fluctuate a lot during pregnancy, and this can decrease natural tear production resulting in dry eyes. Dryness can cause stinging, gritty, scratchy eyes that can make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. Your optometrist can often treat these symptoms with artificial tears, gels and ointments. However, if left untreated, dry eyes can be harmful and can lead to tissue damage and scarring that will impair your vision. You may want to wear contacts for a shorter period of time and take more frequent breaks from the TV or computer.
If you have diabetes or gestational diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing serious eye conditions that worsen during pregnancy and can lead to permanent damage of your blood vessels. Make sure your eye health is a top priority and meet with your optometrist at least once during your pregnancy. This way they can monitor your blood vessels and ensure steps are being taken to reduce any symptoms you may encounter.
If you are looking for a trusted eye care professional to weigh-in on your vision, whether changes occur or not, or if you have questions or concerns about eye health, check out IRIS in stores or online!
Have you experienced any eye related changes during pregnancy?