Vision changes during pregnancy, Dr. Hamilton can help

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Mood swings…Food cravings…Vivid dreams…

Many would agree that pregnancy is filled with all kinds of strange symptoms.

And according to 15 percent of pregnant women, a decline or change in their vision is among them.

Dr. William K. Hamilton, Mon Health OBGYN, explains that while odd, this issue is actually common in many pregnancies.

“The physical and hormonal changes occurring in a pregnant woman’s body can also affect her eyesight,” said Dr. Hamilton. “In most cases, small changes in vision are normal—but for some women, they can point to a much more serious, underlying problem.”

What are normal vision changes during pregnancy?

According to Dr. Hamilton, normal vision changes during pregnancy can include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritation
  • Slightly blurred vision
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Migraines
  • Changes in current eye conditions (improvement or worsening)

These symptoms can come and go or can remain constant throughout the duration of the pregnancy.

Why does vision change during pregnancy?

Changes in fluid retention, hormones, blood flow and metabolism are to blame for the decline in vision during pregnancy.

Luckily, according to Dr. Hamilton, most pregnancy-related vision problems are temporary.

“Most symptoms will go away shortly after you give birth,” says Dr. Hamilton. “In rare cases, I’ve seen women who have had to switch their eyeglass prescription once they’ve realized the changes are permanent following delivery—but that’s uncommon.”

As for pregnant women experiencing eyesight changes, who have been cleared for more serious conditions, Dr. Hamilton suggests they speak to their doctor about treating their symptoms.

“Get plenty of rest, and ask your doctor about lubricating eye drops or other treatments that are safe to use during pregnancy,” Dr. Hamilton said.

When should I see my doctor?

Even though vision changes during pregnancy are common, Dr. Hamilton warns they should never be taken lightly.

He lists the following symptoms as red flags for serious pregnancy-related complications:

  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to focus your eye
  • Double vision
  • Blind spots
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Light sensitivity

Pregnant women experiencing these symptoms may have preeclampsia, eclampsia, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure or another pregnancy-related illness. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, these conditions can quickly worsen and threaten the life of both mom and baby if left untreated.

Dr. Hamilton encourages women not to brush off changes in vision while they’re pregnant, even if they fall under what’s considered “normal.”

“Some symptoms, like blurred vision or puffy eyelids, can be harmless,” said Dr. Hamilton. “But these are also some of the initial signs of more serious pregnancy-related complications like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes —so it’s best to inform your doctor of any changes in vision just in case.”

In addition to regular check-ups and screenings, don’t hesitate to tell your doctor about any changes in vision during pregnancy so possible complications can be diagnosed or ruled out.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamilton.