We all know or pretend to know the changes and the numerous difficulties - hormonal and other - that occur during pregnancy. Still, few focus on the pregnant woman's eyes, not because they are beautiful but because they also suffer the hormonal disorder's consequences. That happens because changes in the water balance in the body of the pregnant woman affect vision. The ability to focus and the sensitivity to light fluctuate, and various diseases requiring attention may occur temporarily.
Recent statistics show that births have increased since the year 2000 and surpassed all precedents of the last 30 years. The nine months of this pleasant waiting are characterized by the changes that occur in the female body, but we rarely focus our attention on the fluctuations of vision, visual hygiene and the changes that appear in our eyes, during pregnancy. The tear, the cornea (the outer "lens" of the eye), the conjunctiva (the thin transparent film that covers the cornea) as well as the inside of the eye contain a high percentage of water in their composition, so it is not surprising that the changes in the water balance of the body affect vision. The ability to focus and sensitivity to light begin to fluctuate. It is common to vary the prescription of glasses for myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, and change in contact lenses.
The vision changes that can occur in pregnancy
Change in refractive correction: Occurs due to fluid retention in the cornea. As a result, mothers do not see as clearly through glasses or contact lenses. The optometrist will be the one to judge whether the prescription change is necessary or whether this blurring is temporary. In any case, this test should be done after the sixth week of pregnancy.
Dry eyes: Many women complain that they have the feeling of sand in their eyes. Changes in hormone levels in pregnancy cause changes in the quantity and quality of tears. Those who use contact lenses should reduce the hours they wear and replace them with glasses. The use of contact lenses should be kept to a minimum, mostly if the lenses are frequently replaced. In contrast, conventional lenses (that last up to 2 years) create minimal problems. There is no contraindication to artificial tears that moisturize the eyes and reduce the burning sensation to a minimum.
Swelling of the lower eyelids: Another side effect of hormone fluctuations. Reducing the consumption of caffeine and salt reduces the swelling.
Migraines: Another common occurrence. This powerful headache creates sensitivity to bright light.
High blood pressure: Some women have blurred vision, while all see black blots during pregnancy. These can be symptoms of high blood pressure. It is more likely to occur in the first or second trimester of pregnancy. When the pressure is high, it can lead to detachment or bleeding of the retina.
Diabetes: Women who have diabetes and those who acquired diabetes during pregnancy should be monitored regularly by their ophthalmologist. Diabetes can cause a drastic reduction in visual acuity, blurring, retinal haemorrhage or macular oedema.
Glaucoma (pre-existing condition): When anti-glaucoma treatment is followed, due to high intraocular pressure, great care is required.
Tubular vision: It is sporadic to occur. The cause of this visual field disorder, accompanied by severe headaches, is a carcinoma, the malignant melanoma. Pregnancy accelerates its development.
Cerebral artery thrombosis: It is easy to form blood clots resulting in loss of visual field. For this reason, light physical exercise and walking are recommended, when the gynaecologist allows it.
It is understood that women during their pregnancy and shortly after, experience some problems in their vision, due to the various hormonal changes that occur in their body. Most of these problems go away after the pregnancy is over, while others are more serious and may cause chronic pain. In any case, prevention is the appropriate treatment, so pregnant women should visit their ophthalmologist throughout their pregnancy, to avoid any complications in the woman's vision. Mothers should trust the precious health of their eyes, in the services of a reliable and specialized scientist, such as Aris Konstantopoulos from Aris Vision Correction Clinic. For years, he has been offering practical and immediate help to hundreds of pregnant women whenever they needed it. Because as beautiful and memorable as the pregnancy period can be, it can also carry risks for your eyesight. And you don't want to risk your precious eyesight, don't you?
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