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Pregnancy and its Impact on Eyesight

Updated on July 26, 2017

I recently heard of a story about a mother who was pregnant with twin girls. During her pregnancy she gradually experienced issues with her eyesight, which slowly degenerated to the point she could only see a couple of yards in front of her. This vision degeneration continued and reached its peak with her realizing that she couldn't see anything beyond arm's length. Her vision was comparable to seeing through a dark tunnel. After giving birth, vision degradation ceased, however her eyesight never returned to normal. This condition concerned her greatly prompting her to seek a consultation with her eye doctor. After a comprehensive check-up the source of the problem was discovered to be non-cancerous brain tumor. It's presence created pressure on her eye ultimately impacting her vision. If left untreated she may have completely gone blind and perhaps even died. Although this incident was unrelated to her pregnancy it is a cautionary tale for pregnant women, reminding them to remain conscious of symptoms during these critical months. Pregnancy can affect your eyesight in many ways and it is critical to be cognizant of the causes, symptoms and treatments of vision problems that pregnancy may provoke.

Hormonal and physical changes that develop during pregnancy could cause morning sickness, lower back pain and even vision issues. It is critical to be aware of these changes and know how to address them. For example, if your eyes are affected you may experience the following four symptoms:

Blurred or foggy vision: Women retain fluids during pregnancy, this retention of fluids can affect and change the shape of their eye. The additional fluid can physically change the shape of the cornea causing vision to become distorted. However, it is reversible and usually goes away shortly after giving birth. A visit to your eye doctor is highly recommended in these cases. They may prescribe a vision corrective solution such as eye glasses or contact lenses.

Dry Eyes: During pregnancy some women may experience dry eyes, which can cause eye irritation while wearing contact lenses. One way to treat this condition is with the use of wetting eye drops or simply using glasses as an alternative to contact lenses.

Preeclampsia: Some symptoms of this condition can include temporary loss of vision, blurry vision and sensitivity to light. This condition can be serious in nature and one of the known causes is high blood pressure. If any of these symptoms present themselves consult an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Gestational Diabetes: This is a temporary form of diabetes which can sometimes affect eyesight. Diabetes can also damage blood vessels feeding the retina, generating symptoms such as blurry vision. If gestational diabetes develops contact your eye doctor in order to manage the related risk to your eyesight. He/she will also provide you with methods to properly monitor your blood sugar levels, and how to prevent excessive levels from occurring or remaining elevated for too long.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above, or other issues that you believe are foreign to you during pregnancy, it is important to contact your eye doctor. Although most of the time the issues are minor and easily treated it is still better to err on the side of caution and confirm that there are no malicious or hidden issues that may be related to more serious conditions.

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