- Pregnancy can cause changes in eyesight due to hormonal fluctuations and fluid retention.
- Gestational diabetes and dry eye syndrome during pregnancy can potentially harm vision if not managed.
- Prescription changes may occur, with LASIK surgery as a possible corrective measure.
- Regular eye exams, wearing sunglasses, a healthy diet, and proper rest can help maintain eye health.
Pregnancy is an incredible experience for women but comes with its fair share of challenges. Alongside common pregnancy-related ailments such as nausea and fatigue, some changes can happen to your eyesight, which may affect the quality of your vision. It is essential that you keep a close eye on your eyes during the gestation and post-pregnancy period. This blog will discuss how maternity can affect your vision.
Hormones and Fluid Swelling
Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can influence the fluids in the body, causing changes that affect the eyes in different ways. The accumulation of fluids in the cornea, retina, and iris can lead to blurry vision or difficulty focusing.
Contact lenses may feel uncomfortable, and you may notice more significant eye floaters and flashes of light. These changes typically resolve themselves after the delivery of the baby or after breastfeeding ceases.
Gestational diabetes is a temporary form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and causes the mother to have high blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled gestational diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels that nourish the retina.
In extreme circumstances, this may result in vision loss. Pregnant women should undergo a thorough eye examination to identify issues caused by gestational diabetes and seek prompt medical treatment to avoid serious complications.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Pregnancy hormones can cause changes in the tear glands in the eyes, resulting in reduced tear production, leading to dryness, irritation, and redness. Women may also find their contact lenses uncomfortable and experience excessive tearing.
This discomfort typically resolves after breastfeeding stops or a few months after childbirth. But if your eyes still feel dry, it is essential to seek medical advice and use eye drops to reduce the effects of dryness.
Changes in Eyewear Prescription
During and after pregnancy, the changes in body fluids can affect the curvature and thickness of the cornea, which can impact eyesight. Some women may require a new prescription for glasses or contacts.
But if your eyesight does not stabilize, contact your eye specialist and get a thorough eye examination to understand any changes in your vision. You might need treatments like LASIK eye surgery to improve your vision.
LASIK surgery is a safe and relatively painless procedure that can correct vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The recovery period is quick, and you will be able to notice improvements in your vision within a few days of the operation. It's a great alternative to glasses and contact lenses.
Other Things You Can Do To Maintain Your Eye Health
Now that you know the effects of maternity on your vision, you need to know how to protect your eyes from these changes. While a few methods were already discussed above, there are other precautions that you can take to maintain your eye health.
Get regular eye exams.
Getting regular eye exams is essential to detect any changes in your vision. This will help you take preventive steps and get appropriate treatments if needed.
The UV rays of the sun can be damaging to our eyes, especially during pregnancy when it is hard for us to stay away from the sunlight. To protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation, make sure to wear sunglasses that filter out UV rays.
Eat healthy foods.
A nutritious diet can do wonders for your eyesight. Eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, can help boost eye health and prevent vision problems. Additionally, try to include fruits and vegetables with carotenoids, such as carrots, kale, and spinach, in your diet to protect your eyes.
Get adequate rest.
Rest is essential for our bodies to recharge and function properly. Lack of sleep can affect hormone levels and cause fatigue, which may lead to vision problems. Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night during pregnancy for optimal eye health.
By following these four steps, you can ensure the health of your eyes during and after pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a time of significant bodily changes, some of which can affect your vision. Temporary vision problems are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and fluid retention, but they typically resolve postpartum. However, conditions like gestational diabetes can harm your vision if not appropriately managed.
It's crucial to monitor your eye health, get regular eye exams, rest adequately, shield your eyes from UV radiation, and eat a nutritious diet for optimal eye health. Remember, even if the changes are temporary, take them seriously and seek timely medical advice to ensure both you and your baby's well-being.