Pregnancy and Vision

3 03 2014

I’m going to be a grandpa!  Wow, how did that happen? Weren’t my kids just in school? Yes, it happens that fast. Virtually in the blink of an eye.  Anyway, a new era is about to begin and it got me to thinking about pregnancy and vision.

I see many young mothers to be and they often have many questions about their vision.  Will the pregnancy affect their vision?  Will it make their eyes worse?  The answer is…maybe.

So just what could a new “mother to be” expect to happen with their eyes?  Most of the time, nothing will change. However, since there is a flood of different hormones throughout their body sometimes we can see a few common things.  The most common are:   1. Dry eyes  2. Blurred vision

Dry eyes can cause fluctuating vision, burning and dryness, redness, watering and a sandy, gritty sensation.  This can be helped by a variety of different types of treatments including eye drops and even temporary tear saver plugs that help keep more of your own body’s natural tears.

Blurred vision  can be caused by dry eye but often I see changes in astigmatism and nearsightedness due to corneal shape changes.  With the hormonal changes and water retention, it makes the cornea change it’s shape, thus changing the refractive power of the eye and thus requiring a lens change.

When blurred vision is really a problem, it is because of blood sugar changes.  We never change a prescription on pregnant women until they have had a blood glucose screening to make sure they don’t have gestational diabetes.  If their blood sugar gets higher from the pregnancy, it makes the crystalline lens swell and causes them to become more nearsighted.  The vision usually goes back to where it was once the blood sugar goes back to normal with treatment.  If pregnant women have some relatively small refractive vision changes, it is left alone for the last month of pregnancy and up to one month post part-um since it will usually go back to normal on it’s own.

 Of course if it’s a really big change, we can work with people to help them see with temporary disposable trial lenses until the vision equalizes and we can get a final prescription.  If you are having trouble seeing, please come in and let us help you!  You  don’t want to miss out on such an important time of your life just because your vision is blurry.

It is really important to have  a pair of glasses to wear for when you are in the hospital or if you are laid up in bed and don’t feel like putting on contacts.  You will be plenty tired and worn out both physically and emotionally at times.   A pair of glasses comes in real handy at 3:00 AM in the morning for when that cranky baby is fussing and you just went to sleep.

Rarely, a few more serious eye problems can develop as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.  The main one would be hemorrhages from high blood pressure or from vomiting during preclampsia.   Usually these resolve on their own without any damage as long as the high blood pressure is kept under control.    It is rare they need any surgical intervention.  The worst case scenario would be where the pituitary gland is swollen and putting pressure on the nerves of the eyes.  This is rare but has been known to happen occasionally due to pregnancy hormone changes. Rarely, a blockage or stroke in the eye can occur as well.

While it is extremely rare that pregnant mothers will have any vision problems, there are things that can affect the vision adversely.  The point is to have the eyes examined and make sure it is not anything serious if you are having any kind of trouble with your vision.  Most of the time it is not serious.

Watch for future blogs about how a baby’s eyes develop before they are born and when to start having their eyes examined to make sure they have normal vision and are healthy.  You are taking part in one of God’s most precious creations.  It is not something to take lightly.  Children are a blessing from God so make sure you steward that gift as best as can.  Delight in your children and take joy in them.  Trust me, they grow up way too quickly.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”   Psalm 139:13-16

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

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