How Can Pregnancy Affect My Eyes?
Pregnancy is a very special time in a mother’s life but frankly, it can wreak havoc on your body – your entire body, that is, including your eyes. Many patients at our La Jolla, CA, eye care office find this surprising. This knowledge can be beneficial in several ways, not only to understand the changes your body is going through more intimately but to protect your eyesight as well. Read on to learn more about some common effects of pregnancy on your eyes and vision.
Changes to Your Prescription
Have you noticed your vision has been blurry lately? According to the Optometrists Network, as many as 15% of women will experience changes to their vision during pregnancy. Two main factors – a change in the way your body circulates blood and hormones – are responsible for this effect. Blurred vision can also be due to your eyes retaining water.
Whether you experience changes that will necessitate a new prescription varies from person to person. In some cases, your prescription might actually get better. Of course, it’s important that you still feel comfortable driving and performing other daily tasks, so make sure to communicate with your eye doctor if you don’t.
Delay Refractive Surgery
Most often, these changes to your vision are temporary. We make sure to tell patients that if you’re considering a refractive surgery like LASIK, we recommend that you wait several months after your baby is born for your prescription to stabilize. Breastfeeding will lengthen this timeline since your hormones will still need to adjust and stabilize after you stop nursing.
Gestational Diabetes & Your Eyes
Like other types of diabetes, gestational diabetes involves high blood sugar. This affects systems throughout the body, including your eyes. When diabetic retinopathy develops, it can result in the weakening of blood vessels within the eye. These vessels can break, leading fluid into the retina and impacting your vision.
Unlike temporary blurriness, the effects of this disease can be very serious and the effects can be permanent. Routine screening with your doctor will assess your risk of developing gestational diabetes. It’s also important to let us know if you have any changes to your vision or if you’re being monitored for high blood sugar.
Keep in mind that if you fail to manage your diabetes properly, gestational diabetes can persist after the delivery of your baby. Worsening of the condition will have an even more severe impact on the health of your eyes.
Other Pregnancy-Related Eye Concerns
We hear a handful of other concerns from moms-to-be, such as:
- Dry eyes
- Migraines and visual auras
- HIgher rates of pink eye
- Difficulty tolerating contact lenses
With an addition to your family on the way, we understand it might feel difficult to work in another appointment. But your vision is something that can too easily be taken for granted. During a comprehensive eye exam, we can screen for a number of these issues and other eye conditions at once.
Contact Us to Learn More
We’ve helped patients in La Jolla, Carmel Valley, and Greater San Diego experience a higher quality of life and we’d love to do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more about how pregnancy could be affecting your eyes.