Eye Care Advice for Mums-to-Be

Mums-to-be experience a huge number of changes to their health and bodies throughout the rollercoaster ride that is pregnancy, sometimes including changes to their eyes and sight.

Expectant mothers should take extra special care of their bodies whilst pregnant to keep themselves and the baby healthy. Whilst many mums-to-be will enjoy pampering their stretching skin, nourishing themselves and baby with tasty treats and soaking tired legs and feet, they often neglect to consider the toll pregnancy can take on their eyes and sight.

Every body and every pregnancy is different, and some women may find that they start to experience uncomfortable eyes or blurry vision while they’re growing their new little human.

How can pregnancy affect my eyes?

It’s no big secret that pregnancy can make your hormones go haywire, but did you know that hormones control the tear film in your eyes? If your hormones are a little off-kilter then it could have an effect on your eyes.

During pregnancy your body may also retain more fluids, which can cause a change in the shape of your cornea. The change is only likely to be tiny so you won’t notice it happening, but it could cause a slight change to your vision; don’t worry these changes are usually temporary!

We’ve listed below a few eye problems that may be experienced during pregnancy and how to best deal with them.

Dry eyes

If hormones disrupt the tear film or quality in your eyes during pregnancy then you may find your eyes feeling dry, gritty or generally uncomfortable.

To alleviate dry eyes, try to avoid central heating, air conditioning and looking at screens for long periods of time. It can also help to switch from contact lenses to glasses, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes outdoors or use a humidifier. If you’re pregnant then you should already be drinking plenty of water, staying well hydrated can help with dry eyes too.

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If symptoms are still bothering you, then it is possible to purchase lubricating eye drops off the shelf in most supermarkets and pharmacies. Always check with your doctor or midwife before starting to use any new medications when pregnant.

Changes to vision

If you notice any changes to your vision, then they’ll probably be minor, but it is best to get them checked out.

It probably isn’t advisable to invest in a new pair of glasses during pregnancy (unless you’re really struggling!) as changes to vision are likely to only be temporary and should go back to normal within a few months of birth.

Occasionally, blurred vision or changes to sight could be caused by a more serious pregnancy condition like Gestational Diabetes or Preeclampsia, so it’s always worth reporting any differences you notice to your midwife.

Eye tests

If you attend an eye test whilst pregnant, be sure to mention at the time of booking and at the start of the test that you are expecting. Because many of the changes that can happen to your eyes during pregnancy are temporary this may affect the advice that your optometrist gives you.

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