Your eyes do not deceive you: Many women discover that their vision seems blurred, or at least less sharp than it usually is, during pregnancy. No need to panic, though; your vision will likely return to normal in the blink of an eye after delivery.
When does blurred vision start during pregnancy?
Pregnancy changes every aspect of your body, sometimes uncomfortably, so it’s no surprise that your vision may be affected too. Depending on the reasons, your eyes may be blurred, scratchy or subject to infection at any time while you’re expecting, though many women say it gets worse as pregnancy progresses before it gets better after baby’s birth.
What causes blurred vision during pregnancy?
There are several reasons for this pregnancy symptom, including:
Reduced tear production. Pregnancy hormones (what else?) decrease tear production (ironically, since they certainly don’t decrease crying!), which can lead to eye dryness, irritation and discomfort.
- Eye pressure. Hormones also cause fluid build-up in your eyes, the same way they make your ankles and feet swell up. This can lead to changes in the curvature of your eye, which can affect your vision while you’re pregnant. You might also experience a change in the thickness of your cornea, making your eyes feel more sensitive — and contact lenses harder to tolerate.
- Lowered immunity. During pregnancy, your body marshals its immune defenses to protect the embryo. These temporary changes are good for baby, but could make Mom more susceptible to infections like pink eye.
- Poorer peripheral vision. No one is sure why some pregnant women sometimes have reduced field of vision, but it’s not a bad guess to blame it on hormones too. If you’re experiencing this symptom, be reassured that your eyesight will snap back to normal after your baby is born.
- Colored eyelids. You may also notice a change in pigment around your eyes, as if you had taken a makeup brush and applied brown eye shadow in the dark. These pigmentations, called melasma, are normal and will fade slowly after birth, so no need to stockpile concealer.
What can I do about blurred vision when I’m pregnant?
Here are some tips on how to cope with pregnancy-related bleary eyesight:
Heightened Sense of Smell During Pregnancy
“Pregnancy Brain” or Forgetfulness During Pregnancy
Dizziness During Pregnancy
Use pregnancy-safe eye drops. If your eyes feel especially dry, lubricating eyes drops, also known as “artificial tears,” are often safe, affordable, and can be found at the drug store. Just double-check with your doctor that they’re okay to use while you’re pregnant. If those don’t work, ask your practitioner or eye doctor to recommend drops.
Give your eyes a rest. Don’t strain your eyes. Read with plenty of light, rest your eyes often, and don’t try to drive if you feel like you can’t see very well. If your contact lenses are bothering you, consider wearing your glasses until after delivery.
- Don’t shell out for a new prescription. Unless the changes are so pronounced that you’re having a tough time seeing, don’t bother with a new pair of glasses or contact prescription while you’re pregnant. Wait until after you’ve had your baby, when your vision should go back to normal.
- Don’t over-correct. Ophthalmologists recommend that you steer clear of corrective eye surgery six months before conception, during pregnancy, and for six months after delivery (or six months post-weaning, if you’re breastfeeding). While it won’t hurt your baby, it might lead to over-correction, which could require another surgery later on.
Can I prevent blurred vision during pregnancy?
While you can’t prevent the vision changes, you can be prepared with an arsenal of lubricating eye drops and a few pairs of glasses (in case you lose one). You may also want to put a spouse, relative or friend on notice that you may not be available for driving until your vision goes back to normal.
When can I expect my blurred vision to end?
Blurred vision and scratchy eyes are fairly common among pregnant women. Luckily, the changes you notice are temporary and your vision should go back to normal after delivery.
When should I call the doctor about blurred vision during pregnancy?
More serious vision problems can be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, so be sure to talk to your practitioner about all your symptoms, and make sure that you take note of any changes. If you notice flashes, dimming vision, spots or floaters that don’t go away, or double vision that persists for more than two hours, call your practitioner right away.Read the original article