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Blurry Vision and Vision Changes in Pregnancy

blurred vision pregnantYour vision is not immune to the havoc that pregnancy hormones can create. If you’ve noticed blurry vision, or vision that’s not as sharp, don’t fret. Blurry vision is a normal pregnancy symptom that may strike in the second and third trimesters, and it’s caused by the same build-up of fluid that makes your legs, feet, and ankles swell (normal edema of pregnancy).

What Causes Blurry Vision in Pregnancy?

There are a number of pregnancy changes that can affect your eyesight when you’re expecting, including higher hormonal levels, changes in your metabolism, fluid retention (swelling/edema), and changes in your blood chemistry.

When you’re pregnant, you have more blood circulating in your body and around your eyes. In addition, normal water retention that occurs during pregnancy can slightly thicken the cornea (outer layer of the eyes) and lens. Even though this is a small change, it can make your vision blurrier. Blurry vision means that you may need a new prescription, or you may need to temporarily wear glasses to see better.

Vision changes should be minor. Most women who experience blurry vision find that they’re a bit more nearsighted. It should not be a significant change, since this can signal a complication.

Fortunately, your vision will go back to normal after several months of giving birth. This is because hormonal levels, blood circulation, and everything else go back to normal after delivery.

Tips to Cope with Blurry Vision and Pregnancy Vision Changes

Although having blurred vision is a pain in your rear end, try to wait it out. Since your vision will correct itself and go back to normal after your baby is born, it is probably a waste of time and money to get a new prescription. Wait until after your baby is born and see if your vision improves.

Again, it’s important to remember that the blurred vision that you’re experiencing should be mild. It should not cause a significant change – i.e. you won’t go from having 20/20 vision to being so blind that everything is fuzzy.

Sometimes, having dry eyes can accompany blurry vision. If this is the case, using lubricated eye drops can make you feel more comfy.

Ophthalmologists don’t recommend that you have corrective eye surgery until six months (half a year) postpartum. Although it won’t harm your baby to have these surgeries in pregnancy, it can lead to over-correction. This basically means that you’ll have to have additional surgeries later on to further correct them.

Your eyes should go back to normal within several months of delivery. Just keep that in mind.

Other Vision Changes in Pregnancy

If you had diabetes before you got pregnant, you may find that your vision gets worse during pregnancy. This condition is called diabetic retinopathy, and it can be a problem for diabetic women. You may need to have frequent eye exams when you’re expecting, as well as after your baby is born.

Interestingly, if you have glaucoma, you might notice that your eyesight improves. If so, your medication might need to be adjusted.

When to Worry about Blurry Vision

Because blurry vision can be a sign of something more serious, you’ll want to contact any vision changes to your doctor or healthcare provider. You want to be safe rather be sorry.

Preeclampsia (a condition marked by high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes can make your eyesight blurry. Always call your caregiver immediately if you start to experience sensitivity to light, double vision, you sudden see spots and flashing lights that aren’t there.

If you have blurred vision and there’s puffiness around your eyes, this may be a sign of preeclampsia. Eye pain should always make you call the doctor.

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