If you’re expecting, you expect to have morning sickness or lower back pain. But you might be surprised when your vision changes. The hormonal and physical changes that come with pregnancy can also affect your eyesight.
Here are four problems to look out for:
What to do: Use artificial tears to wet your eyes and ease dryness. If you wear contacts, check the label to make sure the drops can be used with contacts. Some have preservatives that can harm soft contact lenses. Also, talk to your doctor first to make sure the ingredients are safe for pregnant women.
Many pregnant women retain fluids. This common side effect can change the thickness and shape of your cornea. That can lead to distorted vision. These changes usually go away after delivery or after you stop breastfeeding.
What to do: You may not need to do anything if the changes don't bother you. If they do, talk to your doctor. You may need to change your prescription if you wear glasses. Most eye experts advise against getting LASIK surgery or being fitted for new contacts during pregnancy. Get more information about LASIK eye surgery and pregnancy. Your eyes will go back to normal when your pregnancy is over.
Vision changes can be a sign of this potentially serious problem that occurs in a small number of pregnant women. It’s marked by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ. Symptoms include:
What to do: If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor ASAP or go to the ER. Preeclampsia can progress rapidly and cause bleeding and other serious problems.
High blood sugar levels linked to diabetes can damage the small blood vessels that supply your retina. The chances go up as your pregnancy progresses. A temporary form of diabetes that sometimes affects moms-to-be, called gestational diabetes, can also cause blurred vision.