A pregnant woman wears glasses

Pregnancy can change your body in so many ways. It can change your hearing. It can make your nose stuffy. It can even affect your eyesight.

How does pregnancy affect my eyes?

Erin Schotthoefer, MD

First, you might experience dry eye, since tear production can decrease. If you do, artificial tears can help your eyes to feel less irritated. If you are a contact lens wearer, sometimes you will need to adjust the wear time of your contact lenses so you experience less dry eye, CEENTA Ophthalmologist Erin Schotthoefer, MD, said.

Some women will experience blurred or distorted vision. Fluid retention is common in pregnancy, which can result in changes in some of the tissue layers in a pregnant woman’s eyes. This can change the cornea or lens’ shape, which can change vision. Fortunately, this is usually a temporary change, and is why most ophthalmologists won’t recommend changing your glasses prescription or getting corrective surgery, like LASIK, when you’re pregnant.

Also, some pregnant women have complained of their vision blurring when they stand up quickly. This could occur with dizziness and may be a side effect of blood volume and pressure changes during pregnancy.

If you have a preexisting medical condition that affects your eyes, like glaucoma or diabetes, make sure to let your doctor know, as this sometimes needs to be followed more closely during pregnancy, Dr. Schotthoefer said.

When is it a sign of a medical issue?

While in many cases vision changes are minor, in other cases they can be a sign of something more serious. For example, blurry vision may be a symptom of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-related complication characterized by high blood pressure, can affect the mother’s kidneys and liver and, most seriously, can be fatal to both the mother and baby. Fortunately, preeclampsia is rare and can be treated with medicine.

Blurry vision can also be a sign of gestational diabetes. Expectant mothers with gestational diabetes can’t properly regulate their blood sugar levels, which can lead to further complications for the mother or developmental problems in the baby. While in most cases gestational diabetes goes away after pregnancy, mothers who experience it are at a great risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

We want you to be able to see every moment of your new child’s life. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a CEENTA eye doctor today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Dr. Schotthoefer practices in our Huntersville and University offices. Are you looking for an eye doctor where you live? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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