Your body undoubtedly goes through many different changes with pregnancy, but did you know it can actually affect your vision? Statistics indicate that as much as 15 percent of all pregnant women deal with vision problems at one point or another during their pregnancy. There are many reasons for this, but some of the top factors are changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation. All of these things can have an impact on your eyesight and eyes in general. While it is very rare for women to experience complete loss of vision, many report blurry vision or at the very least that their vision is less sharp than it normally is. It is important not to panic if this happens to you, as it is quite common. Your vision will most likely return once you’ve given birth. However, if it does not or if you are experiencing more intense symptoms than a bit of blurriness, you may want to contact your eye doctor. Here at First Eye Care, our Arlington optometrists are happy to answer any questions you may have about your eyesight and help you gain a better understanding of why your body is reacting in a certain way.
What Leads to Blurred Vision During Pregnancy?
As we briefly mentioned, there are numerous factors that may result in blurred vision during pregnancy. Your hormones are completely out of whack, which can have more of an impact on various parts of your health than you may realize. With that in mind, here is a more in-depth look at what some of the top causes of vision problems are for pregnant women:
- Reduced tear production – When you are pregnant, your hormones work differently than they do otherwise. Pregnancy hormones can actually lead to decreased tear production, which can make your eyes feel irritated, dry, and incredibly uncomfortable.
- Fluid build-up – Another common cause of blurred vision during pregnancy is fluid build-up in the eyes. Once again thanks to pregnancy hormones, fluid can build up behind your eyes, changing the curvature of the eye and affecting your overall vision. This can also make your cornea thicker, which will make the eyes feel far more sensitive than they normally do.
- Compromised immune system – When you are pregnant, your immune system kicks into overdrive to protect the embryo. While this is great for your growing baby, it can compromise your immune system and make you more susceptible to nasty eye viruses, like pink eye.
- Changes in pigment – Many pregnant women notice their eyelids and the skin around their eyes appears darker of discolored. Referred to as melasma, this pigmentation change should fade once you give birth.
- Puffy eyelids – Another common side effect associated with the hormonal changes of pregnancy is puffiness around the eyes. When this happens, your peripheral vision may be affected. Do your best to drink more water than you normally would and limit sodium and caffeine. Doing so should help reduce puffiness, and in turn allow you to see clearly during your pregnancy.
To learn more about how your hormones and being pregnant affect your vision, please contact our Arlington vision center. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and help you gain a better understanding of how your vision may be affected by pregnancy.