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Vision problems during pregnancy – some details

The question is: Can pregnancy actually affects vision and the answer is yes, although indirectly.

Causes of vision problems in pregnancy:

• Hormonal changes
• Metabolism
• Blood circulation
• Fluid retention

Symptoms of vision problems in pregnancy:

• Double vision
• Blurred vision
• Dry eyes
• Light sensitivity
• Temporary loss of vision
• Seeing spots
• Itchiness in eyes
• Flashing lights

Pregnancy conditions and vision:

Water retention: Fluid retention during pregnancy leads to increased curvature in the cornea and thickening of cornea of eye.
Remedy: Though it is a minute change, you may need vision correction by glasses. In pregnancy, laser surgery of eye is not advised and hence contact lenses or glasses might be a good idea.

Dry Eyes: In pregnancy, eyes tend to get dry often than usual. This causes irritation and itchiness when wearing contacts leading to uncomfortable vision.
Remedy: Apply artificial tears for lubrication of the eyes. This will relieve the eye of dryness. In case you are wearing contacts then check for a lubricant that goes along with wearing contacts. Preservatives present in ordinary artificial tears can damage the contact lenses. Consult a doctor prior to its usage and the ingredients.

Blurred Vision: Blurred/Distorted vision occurs due to thickening of cornea due to fluid retention. These alterations disappear once the delivery takes place. In some, they disappear after stoppage of breastfeeding.
Remedy: Change your prescription of glasses and take doctor’s advice. On the whole, nothing has to be done as the condition reverts back after pregnancy.

Preeclampsia: This is a condition affecting 5-8 percent of women in pregnancy. The blood pressure goes high and the protein levels in urine are visible in this condition.

Vision changes in preeclampsia:
• Temporary vision loss
• Sensitive to light
• Blurred vision
• Flashing lights
• Aura visibility
Remedy: Consulting a doctor when symptoms are as above is the best option to confirm preeclampsia. It may grow over a period of time and in severe cases may also cause bleeding and other problems.

Gestational Diabetes: When there are increased sugar level in the blood stream it is associated with diabetes in pregnancy. In pregnancy, when this condition occurs it is called gestational diabetes. These high sugar levels in the blood also cause problem in vision as small blood vessels carry blood to the retina of the eye. In pregnancy, the risk on vision is more than usual. This leads to blurred and improper vision.
In pregnancy, if you are screened with this condition, which is also called diabetic retinopathy, the condition may worsen. Frequent eye exams pre and post pregnancy is essential in such cases.
Remedy: In pregnancy, this condition has to be monitored very closely. It has to be kept in control to prevent further complications. Doctor’s consultation and advice has to be taken timely.

Precautions and care for relief from vision problems in pregnancy:
• Look and track the symptoms of vision problems
• Frequent vision check ups
• Check for sugar levels in blood stream
• Try wearing contact lenses for small periods of time
• Use artificial tears as and when required.
• Switch to glasses when there is any uncomfortable feeling in eye rather than contact lenses.
• Take a break from work on computer or watching TV occasionally for your eyes to relax.
• Call the doctor if there is any swelling in the eye
• Puffiness of eye is another case of problems in vision
• Redness, pain in the eye or eye muscles should be taken care of.
• Keep medicines for eye in hand after consulting doctor and use them when required.

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