Pregnancy and Eye Care

Pregnancy brings an increase in hormones that may cause changes in vision. In most cases, these are temporary eye conditions that will return to normal after delivery. As an expectant mother, you should be aware of vision changes during pregnancy and know what symptoms indicate a serious problem.

Refractive Changes

During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels can alter the power you need in your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Though this is is usually nothing to worry about, it’s a good idea to discuss any vision changes with an eye doctor who can help you decide whether or not to change your prescription. The doctor may simply tell you to wait a few weeks after delivery before making a change in your

Dry Eyes

Some women experience dry eyes during pregnancy / also intolerance to contact lens due to dryness. This is usually temporary and goes away after delivery. The good news is that lubricating eye drops are perfectly safe to use while you are pregnant or nursing and can be used over contact lens also. They can lessen the discomfort of dry eyes. Your eyes will return to normal within a few weeks after delivery.

Puffy Eyelids

Puffiness around the eyes is another common side effect of certain hormonal changes women may have while pregnant. As a rule of thumb, don’t skip on your water intake and stick to a moderate diet, low in sodium and caffeine. These healthy habits can help limit water retention and boost your overall comfort.

Migraines/Headache/Increased sensitivity to light

These may increase in frequency but usually self limiting .If persistent then you will need to contact your doctor for same

Diabetes

Women who are diabetic before their pregnancy and those who develop gestational diabetes need to watch their vision closely. Blurred vision in such cases may indicate elevated blood sugar levels. Fundus -Retina examination by an ophthalmologist is must

High Blood Pressure

In some cases, a woman may have blurry vision or spots in front of her eyes while pregnant which can be due to an increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. Fundus -Retina examination is a must.

Glaucoma

Women being treated for glaucoma should tell their eye doctor right away if they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. While many glaucoma medications are safe to take during pregnancy, certain glaucoma drops such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors can be harmful to the developing baby and are replaced by other glaucoma drops in pregnancy and lactation. Also ask your doctor how to do punctal occlusion after putting these eye drops to decrease systemic absorption.

Keratoconus

This genetic condition of the eye may worsen during pregnancy and its best to meet your ophthalmologist to discuss. People with keratoconus should avoid rubbing eyes as a habit

LASIK

We avoid refractive procedures like LASIK during pregnancy as the spectacles power may fluctuate. It is recommended to wait for a year after delivery or after mother stops lactating

Its important to have a balanced diet , supplement green vegetables, fruits, nuts - almonds & walnuts, egg and fish in your diet. Stay hydrated and physically active . Take frequent eye breaks while on screen or reading (20:20 rule ---close your eyes for 20secs every 20 mins ). Yoga and slow breathing helps in overall well being.

Wish you a happy healthy pregnancy and good vision.
For any further query : parul_ms@hotmail.com
Dr.Parul Sharma