Blurred vision during pregnancy
You know all about morning sickness and early pregnancy fatigue. Did you know that blurred vision is also among the more common pregnancy signs? Pregnancy hormones cause a few different changes in your eyes. Tear production goes down, and there is fluid retention in the eyes (just like edema in any other part of the body!).
If you already knew you had vision problems before pregnancy and were wearing glasses or contact lenses, you are probably worried that your prescription has increased. If you are seeing more blurry than normally, rest assured that you are not the only mom to be to feel like this during her pregnancy. Vision problems during pregnancy are temporary, which means that your sight will return to the way it was after you have given birth and your pregnancy hormones have gone away.
What can you do to cope with this pregnancy complaint? Don't get new glasses, because that won't help any. You are better off not going to the optician's at all until after you are no longer pregnant. If you are seeing black spots or other weird things, you shouldn't ignore those. These vision problems could have something to do with high blood pressure or other problems, and you should discuss them with your doctor.
You didn't expect dry eyes while expecting!
We already mentioned that tear production goes down during pregnancy because of your new hormonal cocktail. If your eyes feel irritated or dry, don't be surprised. The fluid that keeps your eyes hydrated has not merely lessened because of your hormones, but it is also different in consistency. You may notice that your eyes become irritated more easily, and that you feel like there is something in your eye (like an eyelash). If your eyesight is 20/20 or you wear only glasses, you can try to treat dry eyes with eye drops. If you wear contact lenses, try wearing glasses until the end of your pregnancy, or switching to a different type of lenses. I personally found that daily lenses were much more comfortable than my usual monthly lenses. Daily lenses have the highest fluid content, so that will be the reason.
Conjuctivitis, more commonly known as pinkeye, is another fairly common concern both during pregnancy and at any other time. The conjuctiva, the membrane that protects the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed if you have conjuctivitis. There are so many possible caused of conjuctivitis that we can't say that pinkeye is harmless. The dry eyes in pregnancy we mentioned earlier can be the sole cause of pinkeye, but bacteria or a virus can also be the culprit. Even chlamydia can cause conjuctivitis, and chlamydia during pregnancy is definitely not harmless. The other reason to be concerned about pregnancy conjuctivitis is that some of the antibiotics are not safe during pregnancy. If you have conjuctivitis that doesn't clear up very soon after you notice it, consulting a doctor is the wisest approach.
Pregnancy complications that cause eye changes
Eye changes during pregnancy are usually perfectly normal. In some cases however, they can also be an indication that there is a more serious problem. Blurred vision can be caused by high blood sugar levels, which can in turn be the result of gestational diabetes. Routine prenatal care will include tests for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks, but you should mention your blurred vision to your OBGYN at your next prenatal appointment in any case. High blood pressure may make you see black spots in front of your eyes. Preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication, can actually cause eye hemorrhages. Any pregnant woman who is at all worried about vision problems during pregnancy should always feel free to call her doctor about them. These problems should be taken seriously, especially if there are also other symptoms that point to a possible complication.