How pregnancy affects your vision

Unable to see clearly during your pregnancy? Relax! Visual disturbances are commonly seen in pregnancy (15%)  and they generally subside post delivery.  Pregnancy affects your eyes and your vision in different ways.

Dryness and irritation

Tear production is reduced due to your pregnancy hormones. Eye drops may offer you relief during such times.

 A migraine affecting your vision

A migraine with aura is a painful headache, generally affecting one side of the head, which is preceded by an aura.  Visual disturbances like blind spots, loss of vision may also occur.

Corneal changes

Hormones cause the swelling of your eyes, which leads to changes in its curvature, thus affecting your vision.

During pregnancy, there may be changes in the corneal thickness. This makes it harder for you to wear contact lenses for a longer duration.

Immunity changes

Mother’s lowered immunity may lead to infections, like a pink eye infection.

Reduced field of vision

Hormonal changes may lead to poor peripheral vision, which in turn lead to a reduced field of vision.

Melasma

Pigmentation around your eyes and on the eyelids, known as melasma is common. Using a good eyeshadow or concealer may help to hide it.

Chorioretinopathy

 Due to the increased hormones ( stress hormones in particular), fluid accumulates up under the retina, causing the layers of the retina to detach and create blind spots that distort the expectant mother’s vision.

Aggrevate/improve a systemic disorder

 

  • If the expectant mother suffers from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the condition may worsen during pregnancy.  It may lead to  “diabetic retinopathy”.  
  • Another condition known as glaucoma mostly improves in a  pregnant woman.

Pregnancy mainly affects the eye due to the changes in the hormonal level seen in the mother’s body. Most of the times, the changes seen in the vision are temporary and self-corrective. Seeing an ophthalmologist would be best and taking the prescribed medication (if and when needed), may reduce the discomfort.

Note: Any sudden loss of vision or pain should be immediately reported to the doctor to detect the underlying cause.

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Aishwarya

Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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