Oral & Vision Health Blog

Vision during Pregnancy: What to Look for

Pregnancy is a time when mothers-to-be experience excitement almost moment to moment. It’s also a time of many changes.

One of the changes expecting mothers may experience: eyesight.

How pregnancy can affect your vision

Pregnancy brings with it hormonal and blood pressure changes, as well as fluid retention. If you already have diabetes, blood sugar levels may spike. Each of these conditions may affect your eyesight, usually in temporary and treatable ways.

If you wear contact lenses, they may not fit as well during pregnancy. This can cause visual distortions. You also may find that your prescription lenses, whether in a pair of glasses or contacts, no longer seem correct. Your eye doctor will be able to help determine whether you need a new prescription. He or she can also determine if the changes are temporary and will change back post-pregnancy.

Tips: Put off being fitted for new contact lenses until after your baby is born. If you were planning eye surgery prior to your pregnancy, it is best to postpone it.

Cautions: Check any medication you plan on taking for safety during pregnancy.

It’s very important to monitor your vision carefully. If you notice vision changes, see your eye doctor.

What are the signs to look for?

You may experience minor vision changes—blurry or distorted vision—or one or more of these more serious signs:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Auras
  • Seeing spots or flashing lights
  • Double vision
  • Temporary loss of sight

Minor changes: Blurry or distorted vision usually indicates a temporary condition. Your eyes just may be dry or irritated. If you already have a preexisting glaucoma condition, you may actually experience minor improvement while pregnant.

An infrequent cause of blurred vision during pregnancy is known as “gestational diabetes.” This is a temporary condition that requires your doctor to monitor your blood sugar levels throughout the pregnancy.

More serious signs: A spike in blood pressure during your pregnancy puts you at risk for preeclampsia. This condition can cause other serious health problems in addition to vision loss. You should see your doctor if you experience any symptoms listed above.

Preexisting diabetes: If you have diabetes, you should get a baseline eye exam before your pregnancy and another one early on during your pregnancy. This is to screen for changes to your retina, which could lead to permanent vision damage.

Expecting mothers have reason to rejoice—and reason to maintain the totality of their health. To protect your vision and overall health, keep tabs on any changes to your eyesight. Keep in close touch with your eye doctor if you notice any changes.

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