How pregnancy affects your eyes

Post on 19th November 2015

Swollen ankles, nausea and tiredness are just some of the symptoms you can expect during pregnancy but your eyes and your eyesight can also be affected.

The good news is, if you do experience changes in your vision during pregnancy, they’ll probably be minor and will reverse themselves within several months of the birth of your baby. However, at Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care we do advise pregnant women to get their eyes checked if they experience any changes.

The symptoms

Water retention – this may cause changes to the size and shape of the cornea. These tend to be minor changes, but it can affect how well your glasses or contacts correct your vision. Arrange an appointment to see your optometrist who will be able to offer advice and guidance.

Dry eyes – you may find that your eyes are drier and more irritated during pregnancy, as well as during breastfeeding. This, along with changes in the cornea, may make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable. If you do experience these symptoms, see your optometrist who will advise which eye drops are safe for use when you are pregnant.

Diabetes – if you have diabetes, we would recommend you see an optometrist when planning your pregnancy and again during the early months of your pregnancy to screen for damage to the blood vessels in your retina. This condition, called diabetic retinopathy, often worsens during pregnancy, so you’ll need more frequent eye exams while you’re pregnant and once your baby has been born.

Gestational diabetes – is a temporary form of diabetes that affects women during pregnancy that can, amongst other symptoms, damage the eyes. High blood sugar levels can affect the blood vessels in the eye and lead to blurred vision. Your diabetes will be monitored closely by your GP and midwife, who will regularly check your blood sugar levels.

Causes for concern

High blood pressure or preeclampsia, for example, may cause changes to your vision.

You should seek immediate medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:

double vision
blurry vision
sensitivity to light
temporary loss of vision
seeing spots or flashing lights
puffiness around your eyes
eye pain or redness

To find your nearest Scrivens branch visit our home page.