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The Hood Magazine

Pregnancy and Vision Changes

01/22/2016 12:02PM ● Published by Hood Magazine
By Angela Gulbranson, OD, Visions Eyecare and Vision Therapy Center


When we are pregnant, our bodies change. Pregnancy means changes in hormones, metabolism, fluid retention and blood flow - all of these can impact our eyes and our vision.

 

While most of the time the changes are temporary, there are some vision problems, which do require attention by an eye doctor. Some of the changes you might experience include:  

  • Dry, red irritated eyes
  • Double vision
  • Blurry distance vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seeing spots or flashing lights
  • Swelling or puffiness around your eyes

Hormone changes can make your eyes dry and you may find that your contact lenses aren’t as comfortable as they used to be. Your eye doctor can help you find relief from dry eye irritation. Sometimes over-the-counter tears can provide relief, but you do need to check the active ingredients to ensure the safety of you and your baby. It may also be helpful to wear your glasses more often and wear your contact lenses for shorter periods of time.

For computer users, it is important to remember that computer use can often cause your eyes to get dry and irritated because we tend to blink less often. Following the 20-20-20 rule can make all the difference:

 

For every 20 minutes on an electronic device:

•  Take a 20 second visual break

•  Look 20 feet away

When you retain fluid, it may cause you to have blurry vision and your glasses or contact lens prescription may change slightly. While this is often temporary, it is good to consult your eye doctor.

If you have a pre-existing medical eye condition such as diabetic retinopathy, it is important to have regular vision care as pregnancy can make your condition worse.

Should you experience any sudden vision changes including: double vision, swelling or puffiness around your eyes or you start seeing spots or flashing lights, be sure to contact your eye doctor immediately.

 

Once your baby is born, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends your infant have his or her vision checked between 6 and 12 months of age.