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Vision Changes During Pregnancy

Preg­nant women expect a lot of changes, but few are aware that preg­nan­cy can alter their vision. Only about 15% of women expe­ri­ence notable vision change dur­ing preg­nan­cy. How­ev­er, if you or your part­ner are preg­nant or plan­ning a preg­nan­cy, it’s good to know about this.

What Causes Vision Changes in Pregnancy?

You don’t need us to tell you that preg­nan­cy caus­es enor­mous hor­mone changes. Your vision can change along with weight gain and food crav­ings.

Most of the time, vision change dur­ing preg­nan­cy is tem­po­rary. Dry eyes are prob­a­bly the most com­mon since preg­nant women often retain water. They can be more prob­lem­at­ic dur­ing the autumn and spring aller­gy sea­sons so it may be a good idea to take out the con­tact lens­es and wear glass­es instead. Oth­er­wise, arti­fi­cial tears or eye drops can ease dry eye, espe­cial­ly for women who strong­ly pre­fer con­tact lens­es.

Oth­er preg­nant women may find their eye­sight is a lit­tle blur­ry or oth­er­wise a bit weak­er. For this rea­son, they should hold off on get­ting a new eye­glass or con­tact lens pre­scrip­tion until after deliv­ery. (But it’s per­fect­ly fine to cel­e­brate with a new pair of frames!)

When to Report Blurred Vision While Pregnant

pregnant woman

Most of the time, blurred vision in preg­nan­cy is noth­ing to wor­ry about. How­ev­er, there are rea­sons to men­tion it to your obste­tri­cian.

  • It can be a sign of unusu­al­ly high blood pres­sure. Preg­nan­cy will cause blood pres­sure to rise. For some women it can get too high, a con­di­tion called ges­ta­tion­al hyper­ten­sion. If this isn’t con­trolled, it can cause severe swelling and com­pli­cate mat­ters lat­er in preg­nan­cy.
  • Blur­ry vision accom­pa­nied by light sen­si­tiv­i­ty, auras, or momen­tary loss of vision can sig­nal ges­ta­tion­al hyper­ten­sion or in lat­er stages of preg­nan­cy, pre-eclamp­sia.

These are all con­di­tions your obste­tri­cian is on the alert to iden­ti­fy through blood pres­sure checks and urine scans. Vision changes are a symp­tom that can con­firm a diag­no­sis. Treat­ment includes reduced work hours, bedrest, and some­times med­ica­tion.

Gestational Diabetes and Blurred Vision While Pregnant

All preg­nant women are test­ed for ges­ta­tion­al dia­betes. Blurred vision is a key symp­tom of this con­di­tion. Women who have dia­betes need to be par­tic­u­lar­ly alert for sud­den blur­ry vision if they become preg­nant.

Migraines and Vision Disturbances in Pregnancy

Migraines are mis­er­able at any time. Some women get them more often dur­ing preg­nan­cy, or for the first time. A lucky few stop hav­ing them at all dur­ing preg­nan­cy!

Many peo­ple (preg­nant or not) get aur­al warn­ings that warn a migraine is com­ing on. They may see flash­es, zigzag lines, spots, or have blind spots. These events can also occur with­out a migraine com­ing on — some­thing of a relief when they’re over but still alarm­ing.

Because migraines and auras are strong­ly asso­ci­at­ed with hor­mon­al fluc­tu­a­tions, tell your obste­tri­cian if you’re expe­ri­enc­ing them for the first time or if they become more fre­quent. They can indi­cate a blood pres­sure issue that needs to be checked out.

Temporary, Pregnancy-Related Eye Disease

Some­times, a woman in an oth­er­wise healthy preg­nan­cy will start to see blind spots caused by parts of the reti­na becom­ing detached.

This, too, can occur in preg­nan­cy and is called cen­tral serous chori­oretinopa­thy. It hap­pens when flu­id builds up under the reti­na and is caused by stress hor­mones. It usu­al­ly hap­pens lat­er in preg­nan­cy and goes away after deliv­ery. Surgery is gen­er­al­ly not required since the reti­na doesn’t become ful­ly detached.

Although we won’t rec­om­mend new pre­scrip­tions dur­ing your preg­nan­cy, we’re hap­py to eval­u­ate your over­all eye health dur­ing this time. Call us for an appoint­ment today!

June 20th, 2019|Comments Off on Vision Changes During Pregnancy

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