Four Ways Vision Changes During Pregnancy

Pregnant female resting hand on her belly and sitting on a sofa.

During pregnancy, women experience many hormone changes. Nearly every tissue and organ is affected. These hormone adjustments occur to support the mom and the baby’s development. However, some changes can impact the body in unexpected ways. Consider four ways vision changes during pregnancy.

  1. Blurred vision

    A common side effect of pregnancy is retaining fluids. Extra fluid in the eyes can change the cornea’s shape, causing blurred vision. If fluid builds up, pregnant women may notice changes in their sight. Moms-to-be may think they need to have their eyes checked. But these vision changes usually disappear after pregnancy or after they stop breastfeeding. If the problem persists, contact an eye doctor.

  1. Dry eyes

    Pregnancy hormones can decrease the production of oils and tears that keep eyes moist, causing dry eyes. Pregnant women may notice that their eyes feel scratchy, itchy and dry. Artificial tears, purchased over the counter, can help soothe irritated eyes. Applying warm compresses to the eyes can also help the eyes produce more oil and tears.

  1. Peripheral vision limitations

    Pregnant women may notice changes to their peripheral vision. Medical experts are not sure why the change occurs. However, they assure pregnant women that normal peripheral vision should return after delivery.

  1. Migraines, light sensitivity

    Some pregnant women initially suffer from migraines but experience relief during the second and third trimesters. However, migraines can return after delivery as estrogen levels decrease. When experiencing migraines, pregnant women may be more sensitive to light. Get relief by wearing prescription sunglasses with 100% ultraviolet protection to reduce glare from the sun.

Medical conditions can affect vision

Pregnant women should also watch for signs of severe medical conditions that can affect their vision. One serious condition is preeclampsia or dangerously high blood pressure. If blood pressure increases quickly, the mom and baby’s health may be damaged. Common signs are temporary vision loss, light sensitivity or blurred vision.

Pregnant women with diabetes may also notice vision changes, a condition called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the retina or back of the eye. The risk for this damage can increase as the pregnancy progresses. Some people also experience gestational diabetes, which is a temporary form of the disease.

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