Can Pregnancy Affect My Vision?

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Every woman experiences changes in her body which may affect her physically, mentally and also bring hormonal changes during pregnancy. She is excited as well as worried about the new phase of her life. Some physical changes are noticeable, some are not. One such change caused by pregnancy is the change in a woman’s vision. Large amounts of hormones secreted during pregnancy among them some are new like oxytocin, human chorionic gonadotropin, relaxin, and prolactin. These hormones support pregnancy but can also have unpleasant effects on the woman’s body.

Some side-effects caused because of these hormones are morning sickness, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression. The facial skin has a patchy appearance, commonly known as a pregnancy mask. We can also observe vision fluctuation.

In this article:

5 Ways in Which Pregnancy can Affect the Vision
When Blurring of Vision Start During Pregnancy?
Causes of Blurred Vision During Pregnancy
Can Blurred Vision be Prevented During Pregnancy?
When to Seek Doctor

All You Need to Know about Vision Changes During Pregnancy

5 Ways in Which Pregnancy can Affect the Vision

Blurry Vision

During pregnancy, the woman develops edema all over the body. This might result in mild changes to the eyesight and thus creating a need for glasses or contact lens . The prescribed glasses are only temporary during pregnancy. After delivery, the vision may revert to normal.

Blurry Vision during Pregnancy

Dry Eyes

During pregnancy, hormonal changes are responsible for drying of the eyes leaving no lubrication for eyes in the form of tears. The amount and the quality of tears may be changed during pregnancy. The woman may experience sand-like sensation in the eyes or even itching and burning could be experienced.

Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lens require lubrication and thus contact lenses in dry eyes during pregnancy cause discomfort to the eyes. Therefore, it becomes intolerable for the pregnant woman to wear them. Also, the swelling of the cornea can be seen which makes cornea irritable easily. Many pregnant women are advised to shift from contact lens to glasses as these are more comfortable.

Floaters and Spots

Women during pregnancy tend to complain about their vision. The visual field could be affected by the appearance of dark spots , this condition is known as a scotoma. Scotomas indicate preeclampsia or other pregnancy-related complications which cause a rise in blood pressure. Eye damage is limited though and can return back normal on the resolution of high blood pressure conditions.

Diabetic Retinopathy

In case a woman suffers from diabetes, there are high chances that she might develop diabetic retinopathy during her pregnancy. Bleeding or fluid leakage from retina could be seen as the severe manifestation of diabetic retinopathy leading to blurred vision and even blindness.

When Blurring of Vision Start During Pregnancy?

According to many surveys, vision changes are observed in about 15 percent of pregnancies but are mostly harmless. These changes can be seen usually during early pregnancy, this is because the hormones are high and the body is trying to adapt itself to the changes occurring in pregnancy. Blurry vision is the commonest symptom which could be due to headaches or migraines and can be accompanied along with morning sickness. Blurred vision episodes are also common during the end of pregnancy due to hormonal shifts and accumulation of fluid.

Causes of Blurred Vision During Pregnancy

  • Fluid Retention : During pregnancy woman experience swelling over the limbs and sometimes tissue just below the eyes can also swell up producing puffy eye look. This puffy look might be the cause of the blurring of vision during pregnancy.
  • Visual Field changes : During pregnancy growth of the pineal gland takes place which causes a change in the field of vision. Reduced peripheral vision is to complain of many pregnant women.
  • Corneal thickening : Corneal edema is responsible for corneal thickening. This is observed in late pregnancy and this makes eye sensitive and results in visual disturbances like blurry vision.
  • Increased Progesterone : Hormonal increase is experienced during pregnancy and progesterone increase is associated with the corneal softening causing unclear or diplopia (double vision) in pregnant women.

Can Blurred Vision be Prevented During Pregnancy?

If one experiences blurred vision it is advised to visit a doctor. Along with this, the following preventive measures can help :

  • Avoidance of Contact lenses during pregnancy is recommended as the change of corneal shape takes place due to retention of fluid in the body and wearing contact lenses makes cause more discomfort. Pair of glasses are a better option.
  • Regular eye exercise is considered healthy and helps in maintaining normal eyesight. The ophthalmologist will assign effective exercise which helps in improving vision during pregnancy.
  • Rest is one of the most important preventive measures. A night of good sleep is required for the complete rest of the eyes. This results in maintaining normal eyesight.

When to Seek Doctor

If the blurring of vision continues for long or gets worse with time, it is advised to visit a doctor. Also if light sensitivity of eyes occurs then it is an indication of dangerous conditions such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. No matter how minimal is the change in eyesight it is better to let the doctor know as to have a healthy baby.

Conclusion

The blurring of vision is common during pregnancy but sometime it might indicate several underlying diseases. Therefore, it is advised to consult the doctor and go for the treatment. It is noticed that the vision resolution gets back to normal soon after delivery as the body returns to normal.