What pregnant women need to know about eye health

Expecting a new baby can be an exciting time in your life. But one thing you might not expect is how much your body can change, and that includes your eye health. In some cases, these changes may indicate underlying health issues or contribute to complications for mother and baby.

1 out of 6 women experience complications associated with their pregnancy, including eye health complications. This may range from mild discomfort to loss of vision.

If you’re expecting a baby or planning to start a family soon, here are three things to keep in mind regarding your eye health:

1. Don’t ignore changes

Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, you may experience dry eyes or swollen eyelids.

Pregnancy can also make your eyes more sensitive to light, which can lead to headaches.

You may experience blurry vision or find that your contact lenses or glasses aren’t working as well as they used to. Water retention during pregnancy can cause fluid to build up behind the eyeball, which can be one of the common causes of these symptoms.

Although many changes in eye health during pregnancy or after childbirth are temporary, some may be permanent, so it’s good to be aware of them.

2. Have an eye exam

Add a comprehensive eye exam with an eye care provider to your prenatal (or postpartum) care routine if you experience any of these issues postpartum during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. These exams can help detect possible eye health problems. Some of which may indicate an underlying disease or potential complications that require further testing and care. Blurry vision can also be linked to a change in your vision prescription. Which can be detected by an eye exam and may require updating your glasses or contact lenses.

3. Know which symptoms can be serious

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or glaucoma, it’s especially important to tell your doctor right away during your pregnancy. Blurred vision and sensitivity to light during pregnancy can sometimes be caused by high blood sugar or high blood pressure. Which may indicate the possibility of preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. If you are being treated for glaucoma, some medicines can harm your baby.

If you are expecting a baby, check your care plan to determine what resources may be available to you. For example, DiagnoStar care plans offer expecting mothers care options during pregnancy and postpartum including ophthalmological care if needed.

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