You're Seeing For Two: 3 Reasons Your Eyes Need Extra Care During Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, your body goes through many changes. Some of those changes will affect your vision. Hormonal changes may cause you to experience dry, itchy eyes. Those same hormonal changes may also cause refractive changes in your eyes which may cause your vision prescription to change. Those changes are minor and will usually go away once you deliver your baby. In addition to those minor changes caused by hormone fluctuations, there are some vision problems that can be caused by more serious medical conditions that can occur during pregnancy. Here are three pregnancy-related vision problems that you should know about.
While you're pregnant, your obstetrician will monitor your blood pressure closely. High blood pressure—or pregnancy-related hypertension—can put you and your unborn baby in jeopardy. In addition to the medical problems that hypertension can cause, it can also damage your eyes. If you develop pregnancy-related hypertension, you need to monitor your vision. If you develop any of the following symptoms, you should contact your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
- Pressure in your eyes when you bend over
- Spots in your field of vision
- Flashes of light in your field of vision
Gestational diabetes is another pregnancy-related medical condition that can cause serious vision problems. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause blindness. If you develop gestational diabetes—elevated blood sugar—or were diabetic before you became pregnant, you need to monitor your vision throughout your pregnancy. If your field of vision suddenly becomes blurry, you should talk to your ophthalmologist about possible vision complications associated with gestational diabetes.
If you are receiving treatment for glaucoma when you become pregnant, you should know that your treatment plan may have to change during pregnancy. Some glaucoma medications may cause harm to fetal development. This is particularly true of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Studies have found that carbonic anhydrase inhibitors cause forelimb abnormalities in lab rats. If you've been diagnosed with glaucoma, you need to talk to your ophthalmologist about the medication your taking for the condition. They may need to change your treatment until after you deliver your baby.
If you're pregnant, you need to make sure you take proper care of your eyes. Be sure to visit your ophthalmologist at least once during your pregnancy to ensure that you're not experiencing any pregnancy-related vision problems. If you experience any of the medical conditions described above, be sure to speak to your ophthalmologist as soon as possible. Check with companies like Arizona Eye Specialists for more information.