Health Alert: The Importance of an Eye Exam During Pregnancy


Are You Pregnant and Headed in to the Eye Doctor?

Many women don’t consider going to the eye doctor unless there’s a marked change in their vision. When pregnant, however, getting an eye exam from your ophthalmologist can catch a variety of eye problems before they fully manifest. It is always a good idea to check with your eye doctor prior to becoming pregnant, or have an eye exam during pregnancy.

When a woman becomes pregnant the hormonal changes in her body can affect her eyesight. Even minor changes in vision, such as seeing spots or having periodicly blurred vision, can be an indication of more serious issues such as high blood pressure. Extremely high blood pressure during pregnancy can cause retinal detachment. This is a serious but preventable condition.

Common Eye Health Changes

The following are some of the common eye health changes that may occur during pregnancy:

Dry Eyes
Suffering from dryer than normal eyes is a common issue that many pregnant women face. This problem generally goes away after delivery, though if you suffer from excessive dryness see your doctor. Lubricating or re-wetting eye drops are typically safe to use during pregnancy, and while nursing. Ask your doctor if in doubt.

Pregnant women may be more prone to migraines which can cause sensitivity to light. Hormonal changes are to blame for this increase, and the migraines are usually accompanied by headache. Ask your doctor before taking any medication for migraines.

Blurred Vision
Blurred vision is often a sign of increased blood sugar levels. Pregnant women are at risk for developing gestational diabetes, and blurred vision is one of the preliminary signs of higher than normal blood sugar.

Corneal Swelling
Developing discomfort while wearing contact lenses when pregnant can be a result of corneal swelling. This typically goes away after birth or when breastfeeding.

Refractive Changes
Prescription changes may be a result of refractive changes in your eye. If your eyesight changes while pregnant and you require a new prescription, then you will need to be reexamined after pregnancy. Sometimes these changes are only temporary while pregnant.

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