During pregnancy, you will be expecting morning sickness, fatigue, or lower back pain – as these are the symptoms that seem to be discussed at large. No wonder you may get confused when you discover your eyesight is not as sharp as it was before getting pregnant. Unbelievably, vision changes are a common occurrence and quite normal in the course of pregnancy. It can appear during any stage of the gestation period. As usual, like the reason for other discomforts that appears during pregnancy (for the most part), changes in vision are chiefly because of the fluctuating hormone levels.
In spite of the fact that most of the times, the eyesight will come back to normal after the delivery, as an expecting mother, you should understand the reasons of your blurred vision and some signs that indicate a serious unfavorably significant underlying issue. Here we go.
What Causes Blurred Vision During Pregnancy?
As we already discussed, most of the new issues that appear after pregnancy are due to increased production of pregnancy hormones. The same reason is also applicable to the blurred vision that develops during pregnancy. Let us see how the hormonal changes affect the normal vision:
- Fluid retention that makes the hands, face, and feet puffy is because of pregnancy hormones. The fluid retention may also occur on your cornea. This will result in-
- Changes in thickness and curvature of the cornea
- Changes in the fluid pressure inside the eyeball. This can result in blurred vision
- Hormonal changes can reduce the tear production, which can affect the sharpness of vision along with developing irritation and eye dryness
- Softening of the tissues of the cornea can happen due to the increased progesterone levels. Remember that the progesterone is responsible for the softening of cartilage and collagen inthe pelvic area (for making the delivery easy). Obviously, it is logical to think that the same can happen to the collagen in the tissues of the cornea. Softening of this tissue can result in blurred vision or doubled vision
Can Vision Changes During Pregnancy Be Indicative Of More Serious Problems?
Other than the hormones, problems with vision can be an indication of more significant underlying issues such as:
- Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a significantly serious condition, which affects around 4% of pregnancies. A change in vision is one of the vital signs of preeclampsia. Here, the vision changes happen because of swelling of the brain or irritation of central nervous system
- Gestational diabetes: Diabetes that appears in the course of pregnancy, gestational diabetes, can damage small blood vessels that supply blood to the retina. This will result in blurred vision. Its intensity increases as the pregnancy progress
- High blood pressure: Sometimes, expecting mother may see spots in front of her eyes while pregnant. This is a side effect brought about by an increase in blood pressure during pregnancy. High blood pressure, if not properly controlled, can even bring about retinal detachment
When Should I Be Concerned About My Blurring Vision During Pregnancy?
Even though blurred vision is natural and relatively harmless, if certain other signs follow, it can be an indication of a serious underlying issue. If you are experiencing the following symptoms along with blurred vision, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
- When blurred vision happens during the second half of pregnancy and is accompanied by photophobia (extreme sensitivity to light), seeing aura or flashes in the field of vision, headaches, abdominal pain and vomiting, it can be an indication of preeclampsia
- The appearance of spots or floaters in front of the eyes and dimming vision can be an indication of high blood pressure
- Itching and discomfort can be an indication of eye infection which can happen as the tear glands become less active due to the hormonal fluctuation
How Can Blurred Vision During Pregnancy Be Treated?
If blurred vision is because of an underlying issue, treating that issue will eventually help to get relief from blurry vision. If you are just confronting the issue of slightly blurred vision, no specific treatment is required. Obviously, there are steps you can take, to diminish the distress that you are experiencing. Try the following steps:
- If the temporary blurry vision is bothering you and hindering with day-to-day activities, you can always go ahead with an eye test and get appropriate glasses. Go for the cheaper ones as you may not need them after delivery or the power may change again in the course of pregnancy
- If you are already using contact lens, switch over to glasses, as with the changing shape of cornea the contact lens can ill- fit, aggravating the irritation and distress of the vision
- There are eye exercises, which help the eyes to focus better. Get advice from an experienced and qualified ophthalmologist and you will be able to manage slightly blurred vision with this
- Never strain your eyes by looking at the computer screen for a long time or reading in a dimly lit room
- Try to sleep well. Sleeping gives enough ‘rest’ time for your eyes, which is important to control the vision problems
What Are The Other Vision Changes That Happen During Pregnancy?
Apart from a blurry vision and dry eyes, you may also experience a decrease in intraocular pressure, especially if you have been suffering from ocular hypertension. Drooping eyelids (Ptosis) can also be observed during pregnancy. It is again caused by hormonal changes and stress and occurs only on one side.
The incidence of blurry vision may persist even after pregnancy, and it will soon return to normal in a few weeks. Getting regular checkups and consulting an experienced ophthalmologist can explain and help you overcome this condition.