How Pregnancy Affects Your Eyes – And What To Do About It

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body goes through a LOT of changes. Many of these are expected, but there are plenty of others that are entirely unexpected. Women expect their bodies to bloom, with stretch marks spreading across their skin. They expect that their hips will widen and their faces glow – it’s part and parcel of a pregnancy. However, women don’t often consider the effect that the pregnancy will have on their eyes.

It’s so important to know that most of the changes that occur within your vision happen as you age. However, some women find that the pressure of pregnancy can affect their ability to see, leading them to need progressive lenses and a stronger prescription in their glasses. It’s important to know what the changes could be to your eyes. They are largely hormonal, but the changes that you will experience could be from a decrease in eye fluid pressure and the retention of fluid in the ocular tissues. So, how does pregnancy really affect the eyes?

  • The corneas become less sensitive as you progress through a pregnancy, peaking in the last three months. This desensitising leads to sore and red eyes and your eyes may reject your contact lenses. 
  • The fluid in the eye decreases in pregnancy, and most people don’t realise it happening at all. Others, however, have to deal with squinting a little more before eventually heading to the optician to get their eyes checked out.
  • Dry eyes are very common as a side effect of pregnancy. This isn’t usually permanent and eye drops will always help, but speak to your doctor first. There are only certain drops that are safe for pregnant women and it’s always better to check!
  • It’s a normal side effect to deal with puffiness in the body while pregnant, and puffy eyelids are one of them. If you keep up with your water intake and eat well, this should minimise the issues with your vision.
  • Hormones in pregnancy can lead to the rise of blood pressure, putting pressure on the optic nerves and decreasing your ability to see. Medication can help, but it’s something that needs medical treatment. Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition and is characterized by its headaches.
  • Gestational diabetes in pregnancy should be something to watch by any pregnancy woman and her healthcare providers. Diabetic eye disease is a possibility and you should have your eyes tested throughout pregnancy. Don’t leave any blurriness if you are a gestational diabetes sufferer; you never know when it could become a far bigger issue! 

So many pregnant women aren’t aware of how their eyes could be affected by the wonderful changes through which they are going. However, now you know how your vision could be affected, you are far more equipped to look after yourself. Take the time to have follow-up appointments and pay attention: if you’re squinting, it’s time to open your eyes a little more and see the world around you as you progress in your pregnancy.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.  

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