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Effects of Pregnancy on Eyes and Vision

During pregnancy, a woman's body will experience various changes that are mostly caused by hormonal changes. These changes can affect all female organs, including the eye organs and vision.

Eye disorders can be normal changes that occur during pregnancy, pre-existing disorders but worsen during pregnancy or pregnancy complications that affect the eyes.

Generally, this eye and vision disorder will disappear after giving birth, but in certain cases, the disorder will persist.

Normal changes in eyes and vision during pregnancy

Normal changes in the eye during pregnancy include changes in the clear layer of the eye (eye cornea), changes in pressure in the eyeball, or changes in the tissue around the eyeball (such as the eyelids). This change can cause pregnant women to experience:




Nearsighted

Myopic or nearsightedness in pregnant women occurs due to changes in the curve and thickness of the cornea. This condition causes pregnant women to have difficulty seeing objects that are far away, or minus glasses increase. This change will disappear within a few days to weeks after giving birth.

The eyelids are black and protruding

Discoloration around the eyes and cheeks results from hormonal changes. Whereas the bumps on the eyelids occur due to fluid buildup inside the eyelids, especially when approaching labor.

Dry eyes

Dry eyes also often occur during pregnancy, especially in pregnant women who use contact lenses. The condition of dry eyes can be treated easily, using eye drops from a doctor.

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Eye Disease that Worsens During Pregnancy

Several diseases affect the eyes and vision, and the condition can worsen during pregnancy. This condition will usually improve after giving birth, but can also be settled. Some of these diseases include:

Diabetes

Women with diabetes, with or without eye disorders (diabetic retinopathy) before, are at risk of developing retinal damage during pregnancy. Retinal damage can occur especially in diabetics whose blood sugar is not controlled.

That is why diabetics are advised to check their eyes first before planning a pregnancy. Pregnant women who suffer from diabetes also need regular eye checks during pregnancy.

Toxoplasmosis

When pregnant, toxoplasmosis can be reactivated due to a decrease in endurance. This disease not only disrupts the condition of the fetus but can also damage the eyes. Pregnant women who have experienced toxoplasmosis need to be vigilant if symptoms arise in the form of vision becoming blurred.

In this condition, the obstetrician will give a drug to kill the parasite so that it is not harmful to vision, while not endangering the fetus.

Complications of Pregnancy that Affect the Eyes

Some complications of pregnancy whose effects are felt on the eyes and vision are:

Preeclampsia and eclampsia

Complications of pregnancy that increase blood pressure will affect blood flow, including the eyes. This condition causes sufferers of preeclampsia to experience blurred vision, double vision, partial loss of vision, to blindness.

Vision problems due to preeclampsia and eclampsia will generally improve within a few days after giving birth. But in some cases, this condition can persist for several months.

Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR)

CSCR is caused by a buildup of fluid behind the retina, which can affect the retinal attachment of the eye. Symptoms that are felt are a decrease in the viewing room in one or both eyes. This condition can heal within a few months after delivery. But in some cases, CSCR can also be settled, especially if it is not properly monitored through regular check-ups to doctors.

Blood clots and amniotic embolism

Both of these conditions can cause blood vessels in the eyes of pregnant women to become blocked after childbirth. The blockage will interfere with the flow of blood in the eye, so that vision suddenly disappears.

Read Also : 5 Ways to Get a Twin Pregnancy

What pregnant women need to pay attention to eye health during pregnancy:

Eye drops

Eye drops or eye ointments can be used in certain conditions of eye disease that require local therapy. Its use for pregnant women should be done carefully and consider the risks and benefits of the therapy.

Eye drops that are continuously used can affect eye health, depending on the content of the drug. If the drug contains corticosteroids, it will cause glaucoma and cataracts. Whereas antibiotic abuse will make resistance to germs or normal eye flora. If you want to use eye drops that are free on the market, buy safe one, that is, there are green or blue circles.

How important are sunglasses

When you move outside the room, in broad daylight or when the sun is blinding, you should wear sunglasses. Sunglasses can reduce the amount of sunlight and ultraviolet that enters the eye. Ultraviolet B is dangerous for the eyes because it can cause abnormal tissue in the conjunctiva, cataracts, macular degeneration, and eye malignancy.

Delaying Soft Lens

A study revealed that there was a change in corneal curvature during pregnancy in the second and third trimesters, which resulted in vision changes. Pregnancy also causes decreased corneal sensitivity, which triggers dry eyes. With this condition, if a pregnant woman wants to use contact lenses, it's best to try a few weeks after giving birth.

To avoid eye and vision problems, check the obstetrician regularly on a schedule. Discuss with the obstetrician about the need to consult an ophthalmologist, especially if you have diabetes and toxoplasmosis.

If there is interference with vision during pregnancy, immediately see an ophthalmologist find out the cause and the right treatment.





References

References

  1. Prabhu, T.R.B. (2017). Serious Visual (Ocular) Complications in Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia. J Obstet Gynaecol India.
  2. American Academy of Ophtalmology (2019). Ocular Changes During Pregnancy.
  3. WebMD (2018). Pregnancy and Vision.

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