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Being pregnant changes your body in many different ways, but many women don’t think about the fact that it can also impact your vision. While having a child will change your life forever, thankfully your vision will only be temporarily affected. Most women expect their bodies to undergo changes with pregnancy, but your vision? There’s nothing to be worried about if you notice slightly blurred or changed vision during pregnancy, this is completely normal and will go away with time. That being said, these changes – along with all the others – can make your pregnancy a little more uncomfortable than expected. An estimated 15 percent of all pregnant women experience problems with their vision, which can stem from changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention, and blood circulation. We encourage you to discuss any such developments with your doctor and make an appointment with your Arlington optometrist just to make sure everything is normal.
We briefly mentioned some of the reasons why you may experience changes in your vision when pregnant, and today we are going to go over those shifts in more detail. Please keep in mind that every individual is unique and it is completely normal to have a different experience than the other women in your life who are pregnant or have gone through this in the past. Furthermore, just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you should put off your regular eye exam. This is especially true if you suffer from any pre-existing eye conditions, such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
Your Vision and Being Pregnant
It is quite common for women to experience changes to their vision when they become pregnant. Some of the most common issues women face include:
- Dry Eyes – Sure, we’ve all experienced dry eyes at one point or another during our lifetime, especially if you have allergies or stare at a computer screen all day long. Throughout your pregnancy, there is a good chance you will suffer from this common eye condition. There are numerous reasons for this, but namely, because your body’s hormones are impacting the eyes’ ability to produce tears. When pregnant, your eyes may not produce as many tears or moisture as they normally do. Women who wear contacts may experience this even more, which is why many opt for glasses during their pregnancy.
- Blurry Vision – A common side effect of water retention during pregnancy is fuzzy or blurred vision. Many women notice their eyelids swelling up during the 9 months of their pregnancy, and the corneas can also swell and expand. When the cornea swells, the shape and thickness will also change as your body retains more fluids. All of this results in blurry vision from time to time. But don’t panic, this is completely normal and will subside as your body adjusts.
- Flashing Lights or Blind Spots – Many women experience migraines when they are pregnant, especially if it is their first time. As if a splitting headache wasn’t enough, it is quite common for individuals to experience flashing lights or blind spots with these migraines.
- Eye Disease – Although rare, some women develop an eye disease referred to as central serous chorioretinopathy during pregnancy. This condition occurs due to a buildup of fluid under the retina. Multiple layers of the retina then detach, creating blind spots and resulting in a change in vision. It is believed that this condition is linked to stress hormones and it typically develops later in pregnancy, however, it can occur in the second or even first trimester. Most women’s vision will return to normal at the end of the pregnancy or in the weeks/months following delivery.
To learn more about how pregnancy affects your vision, please contact First Eye Care today, Arlington’s leading vision center.