Pregnancy changes a woman’s body significantly — hormone levels fluctuate, blood volume increases and the body retains fluid. All of these changes can affect eye health and vision. For example, fluid retention can cause the cornea to temporarily change shape, so some women find they are more nearsighted while expecting. Others notice their eyes are drier than usual. Here, the team at Island Eye Surgicenter shares our top eye care tips for expectant mothers.
Pregnant women tend to retain water, which can lead to puffiness around the eyes. Sometimes, the puffiness even impedes peripheral vision. Expectant mothers should do their best to stay hydrated, which helps reduce water retention. Limiting sodium and caffeine is also helpful to control puffiness.
Lubricate Dry Eyes
It’s common for pregnant women to experience eyes that are dry, red or itchy. (These symptoms are usually temporary and resolve on their own after pregnancy.) Most lubricating eye drops are fine to use during pregnancy and reduce the discomfort of dry eyes. It’s always a good idea to double-check with the doctor regarding a specific product.
Don’t Avoid the Eye Doctor
With the flurry of prenatal doctor’s appointments, it’s important not to overlook eye appointments. The eye doctor must be informed of the pregnancy at the time of the appointment; he or she may avoid performing certain tests or using dilating eye drops. The doctor can also suggest solutions for temporary changes in vision.
(Note that regular eye appointments and treatments are safe, but LASIK and other laser vision correction procedures are not suitable for women that are pregnant or nursing.)
Take Special Precaution if Diabetic
Women that are diabetic or diagnosed with gestational diabetes need to stay on top of their condition and pay close attention to any visual changes. Blurred vision, for example, may indicate a rise in blood sugar levels. The best way to manage diabetes is to schedule frequent eye appointments, so that any changes or problems are detected and treated right away.
Talk to the Island Eye Surgicenter Team
If you would like more information about taking care of your eyes while pregnant (or otherwise), Island Eye Surgicenter is happy to help. Our team of experts can answer your questions and provide more eye-healthy tips. Please call (516) 877-2400 or (516) 877-1560 today.