Most women expect morning sickness, back pain, and tiredness during pregnancy. I find a lot of women don’t know that being pregnant can affect their eyes too, and are surprised when they get signs of eye problems. Usually these problems are minor and the eyes go back to normal after the birth of the baby or once breastfeeding has been stopped. Saying that, there are also some eye problems that develop during pregnancy that should be checked by an ophthalmologist and the maternity department too. In this blog, I will go through 4 eye problems to look out for when pregnant.
1. Blurred Vision
Most pregnant woman get some degree of fluid retention, normally noticing it on the hands, arms, legs, and feet, but fluid can also be retained within the eye. This fluid retention within the eye can change the shape of the cornea, leading the blurred vision. This is something that can vary day by day but should stop once the baby has been born or once breastfeeding has been stopped.
2. Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are sometimes caused in pregnancy due to the hormonal changes within the body. Tear quality and quantity is affected which causes the feeling of dryness, irritation, burning, or over watering of the eyes. Seeing an eye clinic would be the best option, they can have a close look at your eyes and advise what treatment to use, this would normally be artificial tears.
3. Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is developed by some women during pregnancy and normally disappears after birth. It is caused by high blood sugar levels and the body not making enough insulin to deal with this demand during pregnancy. It can affect the tiny blood vessels that supply the retina and can cause blurred vision. If diabetes or gestational diabetes is present during pregnancy it must be kept a close eye on by the maternity department, GP, and mother-to-be.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that can affect some pregnant women that can cause complications if not monitored by the maternity department. The main sign of this condition is high blood pressure which would normally be picked up at antenatal appointments, but other signs can be changes in the vision. This include; sensitivity to light, blurred vision, loss of vision temporarily, and seeing flashing lights. If any of these signs are present the mother-to-be should seek immediate advice from their midwife or GP.
Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.
Please call 0800 197 8808 for friendly advice and information.