It might surprise you to know that in addition to the obvious physical changes during pregnancy, the eyes can also change.
Eye and Visual Changes During Pregnancy
Due to hormonal and blood pressure shifts, vision may become blurry from time to time, and the fluid retention that causes swollen ankles may modify the shape of the cornea.
Usually vision fluctuations are temporary, but a condition of pregnancy-related high blood pressure, known as preeclampsia, necessitates immediate care.
Eye Symptoms of Preeclampsia
Symptoms of preeclampsia can include:
- blurry vision
- double vision (diplopia)
- temporary vision loss
- new floaters (lines, dots, or specks in the visual field)
- flashing lights
- light sensitivity
Dry Eye During Pregnancy
Dry eye is common during pregnancy. Women should check with their physician before using any type of eye drops — even over-the-counter solutions — to make sure they are safe for the unborn child.
Switching from contact lenses to glasses may be helpful to pregnant women struggling with dry eyes.
Other Eye Conditions to Watch
Expectant mothers may already have diabetes, and some develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Of particular concern is the development of diabetic retinopathy, a condition when diabetes damages blood vessels in the retina.
Glaucoma patients may find that pregnancy actually decreases the pressure in the eye.
Patients with eye disease should be followed closely by an Ophthalmologist or Eye MD throughout pregnancy and after giving birth.