Your eyes do not deceive you: Many women discover that their vision seems blurred or at least less sharp than it usually is during pregnancy. Your eyes may also feel dry and irritated – so your contact lenses (if you wear them) might start to feel flimsy or caked on.
WHAT CAUSES BLURRED VISION DURING PREGNANCY?
Pregnancy hormones (what else?) decrease tear production (ironically, since they certainly don’t decrease crying!), which can lead to eye dryness, irritation and discomfort. Hormones also cause fluid buildup in your eyes, the same way they make your ankles and feet swell up. This can lead to changes in the curvature of your eye, which causes a change in your vision while you’re pregnant.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Blurred vision is normal for many women – luckily, the changes you notice are temporary and your vision should go back to normal after delivery. More serious vision problems, however, can be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure, so be sure to talk to your practitioner. And if you notice blurring, dimming vision, spots, and floaters that don’t go away, or double vision that persists for more than two hours, call your practitioner right away.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Lubricate. If your eyes feel especially dry, ask your eye doctor to recommend lubricating drops.
- Give your eyes a rest. If your contacts are bothering you, consider wearing your glasses until after delivery.
- Don’t shell out for a new prescription. Unless the changes are so pronounced you’re having a tough time seeing, don’t bother with a new pair of glasses or contact prescription at week 34 of pregnancy. Wait until after you’ve had your baby when your vision will more than likely go back to normal.
- Don’t over-correct. On that note, ophthalmologists recommend you steer clear of corrective eye surgery six months before conceiving, during pregnancy, and for six months after delivery (or six months post-weaning, if you’re breastfeeding). While it won’t hurt your baby, it might lead to over-correction, which could require another surgery later on.