It's not just your abdomen that changes when your pregnant. Your whole body can undergo changes -- including your eyes. Sometimes vision problems are caused by preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, so it's important to see your family doctor immediately if you notice any problems with your vision. However, many more causes of pregnancy vision problems are less harmful and normally return to normal after your bundle of joy is born. Here are three eye problems to expect during your pregnancy.
Unfortunately, dry eyes aren't uncommon during pregnancy, and they may persist through the breastfeeding process. Despite being uncomfortable, they're usually nothing to worry about. Most of the time, dry eyes are caused by the hormone fluctuation a pregnant body goes through. These hormones can also cause your glands to behave differently. Your tear glands may produce less tears, and your oil glands may produce less eye lubricant. All these factors contribute to dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, talk to your optometrist about finding artificial tears or lubricating gel to relieve your symptoms.
Hormones are not a new mother's friend. Aside from causing dry eyes, your hormonal changes can also cause you to suffer from migraines. One of the main symptoms many people with migraine headaches face is light sensitivity. Before, during, or after a migraine, you may find that daylight or artificial light make your head hurt. They may even make you feel nauseous. While this problem is not directly related to eye healthy, it can make seeing difficult. Aside from avoiding your migraine triggers (which you can track by keeping a diary of the circumstances around each migraine) and getting plenty of rest and hydration, you may find it more comfortable to wear dark glasses during a migraine or to darken the room your in by turning off lights and closing curtains.
Difficulty Wearing Contacts
Worried about swollen ankles during pregnancy? Try swollen eyes. Pregnancy can cause temporary swelling throughout your body, and your eyes are unfortunately no exception. Unbeknownst to most expecting mothers, your corneas (the transparent surface of your eyes) can swell and change shape when your pregnant. As contact lenses fit directly on to your eye, this can make wearing contacts difficult. Combined with the possibility of dry eyes, contacts may have to be switched out for glasses during pregnancy. Generally, this will subside after pregnancy, but you may want to get an eye exam to change your lens or glasses prescription.
If you experience problems with your vision, don't be afraid to see your optometrist. Having an eye exam while pregnant is completely safe, and the fluid used to dilate your eyes is not thought to be harmful to unborn children.