Pregnancy is like a really messed up grab bag of interesting and often unpleasant side effects. There are the usual suspects, like swollen ankles, digestive issues, and bone-deep exhaustion. But then there are those side effects that you might not even realize are related to pregnancy! Itchy skin or changes to your taste buds. Feet getting bigger (and not going back to their pre-pregnancy size!) and vivid dreams and bleeding gums or extra saliva. The hits just keep on coming during pregnancy! But there's another side effect that a lot of women probably don't realize is related to their pregnancy, and this one can be a bit hard to manage. A new survey has found that pregnancy can lead to visions changes. If you're pregnant and find yourself squinting more than usual, you definitely want to read this.
The survey was conducted by the American Optometric Association. Based on the responses, approximately one in six pregnant women or new moms experienced changes to their vision during pregnancy. Additionally, two out of five new moms weren't even aware that vision changes during pregnancy were possible! The changes included dry eyes, migraines, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light. The changes are caused by the hormone changes your body undergoes during pregnancy, and can even be related to other pregnancy side effects.
For example, says AOA President and optometrist Samuel D. Pierce, O.D., if you're retaining water (which is common) the build-up of fluid can actually happen in or behind your eye, changing the shape of the cornea. This can impact the way light is filtered through the eye, which can distort your vision. Some women even reported that their corrective lenses were not as effective during pregnancy.
Luckily, these vision changes are temporary, and usually resolve shortly after delivery. But it's important that pregnant women see their optometrist regularly, and let their doctors know about any changes to their vision. While most vision changes during pregnancy are mild and temporary, some changes can be indicative of a more serious problem. Preeclampsia can cause headaches, high blood pressure, and vision changes, and left untreated can have very serious consequences. So keep your doctor informed of any vision changes you notice during pregnancy. Even if it doesn't seem serious, it's better to be safe!