Pregnancy can be an exciting time in a woman’s life, but it also can bring on a slew of not so awesome side-effects. For some women, this includes morning sickness, nausea, and exhaustion. For others, it includes blurry vision.
The Cause of Blurry Vision During Pregnancy
There are multiple reasons why a woman’s vision blurs during pregnancy. The main culprit though, are those ever changing hormones. Shifts in hormones during pregnancy can cause the following:
Tear Reduction: Pregnancy hormones decrease tear production which can lead to eye irritation and dry eyes.
Eye Pressure: In some women, pregnancy hormones cause the fluid in their eyes to build up, increasing the pressure and causing blurry vision.
Pregnancy hormones can also cause the cornea to increase in thickness. The cornea functions like a window that controls and focuses the entry of light into the eye, so the increase in thickness can alter and blur vision.
Gestational Diabetes & Preeclampsia: Changes in vision can also occur due to an underlying condition during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Gestational diabetes can cause temporary vision loss, light sensitivity, and even flashes of light. Preeclampsia can not only cause modification to the cornea, but also damage the retina due to high blood pressure. It is important to regularly visit your OBGYN during your pregnancy to rule out these underlying health conditions.
What Can You Do About Blurry Vision During Pregnancy?
Artificial Tears: If your eyes are dry, artificial tears will help to lubricate the eye and relieve the irritation. Artificial tears can be found at the drugstore, but it is important that you check with your doctor to ensure that you pick ones that are pregnancy safe.
Rest Your Eyes: Consider giving your eyes a break and switching from contacts to glasses for the duration of your pregnancy (or just use them more often). Make sure to read with plenty of light and do your best not to strain your eyes.
Avoid Changing Your Prescription/Overcorrection: After pregnancy, your eyesight should return to what is once was, which is why it is advised that you avoid getting a new prescription (unless you truly can’t see) or vision correction surgery (Lasik).
When Will the Blurry Vision End?
Don’t panic, blurry vision and irritated eyes are fairly common for pregnant women. Your eyes should return back to normal after delivery.
If you are struggling with blurry vision and dry eyes due to pregnancy, our eye doctors can help you to manage the symptoms, select pregnancy safe eye drops, and even write you a temporary new prescription (if your symptoms merit such). Pregnancy is a beautiful but sometimes difficult journey, and Mill Creek Family Eye Center is here to help.