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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Eyesight

Pregnancy can impact almost every part of a woman’s body and health — including her eyes. In fact, an estimated 14% of pregnant women report experiencing visual changes during pregnancy that usually resolve on their own within a couple of months after giving birth.

Knowing the different visual symptoms that can present when you’re expecting can help alert you to potential underlying health concerns that your physician may need to address.

Normal Visual Changes During Pregnancy

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common visual symptom that pregnant women may experience. Hormonal fluctuations are usually to blame for the temporary decrease in visual acuity, and your eyesight will likely return to normal soon after giving birth.

The influx of pregnancy hormones causes fluid retention in some areas of the body and can cause the cornea to thicken slightly. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused accurately and vision may be blurred.

Less commonly, blurred vision can signal gestational diabetes, a pregnancy complication affecting 6-9% of pregnant women. The rise in blood sugar level impacts the focusing lens of the eye, leading to blurry vision. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, including gestational diabetes, it’s a good idea to book an eye exam to monitor for retinal changes.

Blurred vision is also a common side effect of dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by tears that don’t adequately lubricate the eyes, which can be brought on or exacerbated by pregnancy.

Eye Dryness

Pregnancy hormones can cause a reduction in the amount of tears your eyes produce or affect the quality of the tears. These changes can affect a woman throughout her entire pregnancy, but studies show that eye dryness is particularly common in the last trimester. For this reason, some women find it difficult to wear contact lenses in their third trimester and temporarily switch to glasses.

Eye Puffiness

Yet another body part that swells during pregnancy: the eyelids and tissues around the eyes.

Pregnancy-related water retention may cause your eyelids to appear puffier than during your pre-pregnancy days. You may also notice darker areas under the eyes. If your puffy eyes bother you, try limiting your salt and caffeine intake, as they can worsen the problem.

Visual Changes That May Indicate a Problem

The following visual changes warrant a prompt call to your eye doctor or obstetrician to rule out any underlying complications.

Flashes or floaters

Seeing stars during pregnancy can signal high blood pressure, which is associated with preeclampsia — a serious medical condition that requires close monitoring by your physician and possible treatment.

It’s crucial to have your blood pressure monitored throughout your pregnancy, as preeclampsia can potentially endanger the life of mother and child, as well as damage the cornea and retina.

Temporary vision loss

Temporary vision loss is concerning for pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Vision loss is another warning sign of preeclampsia, so contact your doctor promptly if you suddenly lose any portion of your visual field.

Sensitivity to light

Light-sensitivity can either be a normal side effect of fluid retention in the eye, or it can signal dangerously high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

How We Can Help

At ​​Vani Vision, our goal is to keep your vision and eyes healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you experience any visual symptoms, we can help by thoroughly examining your eyes to determine the underlying cause and provide you with guidance on what next steps to take.

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, when self care should be at the forefront — and that includes comprehensive eye care.

To schedule an eye exam or learn more about our eye care services, call Vani Vision in Atlanta today!

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Q&A With Our Eye Doctor in Atlanta, Georgia

Why are regular eye exams important?

Having your eyes evaluated by an optometrist on a regular basis is crucial for detecting early signs of eye diseases and changes in your prescription, including during pregnancy. Many serious eye diseases don’t cause any noticeable symptoms until they’ve progressed to late stages, when damage to vision may be irreversible. Whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction, ask your optometrist about how often to schedule a routine eye exam.

Will my baby need an eye exam after birth?

According to the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists, babies should have an eye exam within the first 6-12 months of life, even in the absence of noticeable vision problems. Healthy vision is a significant part of healthy overall development, so be sure not to skip your baby’s eye exams!

Ortho-K – Everything you should know, Dr. Patel – Vani Vision, Atlanta, Orthokeratology,optometrist,eye care GA

The cornea is the front part of your eye that helps shape light as it enters. If the cornea is not shaped correctly, images become blurry and hard to discern. Ortho-K gently reshapes your cornea, giving it the proper shape to bend light to give you the best sight possible.

Many people with mild to moderate nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism may benefit from the use of ortho-k lenses. Since the effects of ortho-k lenses are reinforced only if worn every night, if wear is discontinued, your eyes return to their original shape. Risk for ortho-k is, therefore, quite minimal and ortho-k patients can discontinue at any time without adverse effects. Use of Ortho-k also does not rule out LASIK in the future. Although Ortho-k lenses are primarily prescribed to correct nearsightedness, they also may be used to correct astigmatism, farsightedness and, in some cases even presbyopia.

The fact that this procedure takes place while you sleep means that each morning, when you wake up, all you need to do is take out your contact lenses and you are able to enjoy improved eyesight up to 20/20 all day., Dr. Patel, Atlanta eye doctor.

Appointments OJ checkmark

During your specialized ortho-k fitting, your eye doctor will ensure you are a good candidate for ortho-k lenses and make sure that the lenses are properly fitted for comfort and safety. The eye doctor will begin by obtaining measurements of your “corneal topography.” This procedure is painless and takes only about a minute. This gives the doctor a detailed picture of the unique topography of your eye. Your doctor will then either fit you from an in-office inventory of ortho-k lenses, or may order a custom pair for fitting at a later appointment. The first pair or two of lenses are usually temporary, in order to start the process of re-shaping your cornea. By the third pair, most people can expect to reach their fullest level of vision correction.

The amount of time it takes to begin experiencing a change of vision with ortho-k varies from person to person. Some people may have great vision after a day or two of using ortho-k lenses overnight, whereas those that require a stronger prescription may take up to a few weeks before attaining the full benefit.
If you would like to be glasses and contacts free but are not an ideal candidate for refractive surgery either because of age or other eye conditions like dry eyes, you may still benefit from ortho-k.
It is important to note that Ortho-k lenses are highly specialized and only specially certified optometrists are able to provide fittings for these lenses. For more information, and to see if ortho-k lenses are a suitable solution for you, contact your eye care professional today.

Please don’t forget to make an appointment to see our Eye Care Specialist

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