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A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during and after pregnancy. Your hormones are responsible for these changes. One such change that most new mothers would notice is related to their vision. The changing levels of hormones and fluids within your body can cause changes in your visions, decreasing your visual acuity. About fifty percent of pregnant women are prone to these changes. While you may have noticed changes in your vision in the second trimester, they become more prominent in the third trimester and postpartum. Hormonal changes can also lead to dry eyes after pregnancy. Most of the changes abate and your vision would become normal but after a few months of childbirth.
What Causes a Change in Vision Post Pregnancy?
Blurred vision is a pregnancy symptom caused due to hormonal changes. However, a change in vision may also be due to a cause not related to pregnancy. Hence, you should consult an optometrist.
Some of the causes of vision changes post-pregnancy include:
Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs during pregnancy. In this condition, a woman has high blood pressure and her kidneys function abnormally. High blood pressure during pregnancy may make you sensitive to light and hence you may have blurred vision. It is recommended that you visit your gynaecologist to keep your blood pressure in check.
2. Gestational Diabetes
The blood sugar levels of women with gestational diabetes keep fluctuating during pregnancy. Due to this constant change, the blood vessels attached to the retina may get damaged. This can affect the eyesight and cause blurred vision.
3. Pituitary Adenoma
Formation of a tumour in the pituitary gland of the women may inhibit the functioning of the hormone secretion and lead to vision problems. This, however, is a very rare problem.
5. Lower Fluid Retention
After giving birth to a child, the fluid retention capacity of a woman’s eye ducts lowers. This can alter the shape of the cornea, leading to blurred or distorted vision.
Symptoms of Vision Problems After Pregnancy
Some of the symptoms of postpartum vision loss or eye problems include:
- Sensitivity to light – Bright lights may irritate your eyes.
- Dizziness – Blurred vision may lead to a feeling of dizziness and nausea.
- Double vision – Outlines may seem blurred and you might see images overlapping.
- Intermittent blur – This can happen occasionally, where certain things, like road signs appear blur.
- Strain on eyes – Your eyes will feel tired and stressed all the time.
- Flashes and floaters: Bright flashes of light or wavy lines in the sight of your vision may appear due to retinal detachment, caused by strained pushing during labour.
How to Treat Postpartum Vision Problems
Postpartum vision problems rarely cause permanent vision changes after pregnancy. Many of the changes can go back to normal a few months after the baby is born. But, in a few women, this warrants a new prescription, due to permanent changes in vision.
Here are a few treatment options for postpartum vision problems:
1. For Dry Eyes
Dry eyes can be one of the main reasons for blurred vision. You can fix this by using some saline drops, like the ones used by contact lens users. You can also get eye drops prescribed by an ophthalmologist and use them. DO not buy over-the-counter drops and worsen your condition. Play safe.
2. For Blurred Vision
Blurred vision often abates after pregnancy, but if it continues, visit an ophthalmologist to get your eyes tested. If blurred vision continues for over 6 to 8 months, it can be time to consider a new prescription.
3. For Preeclampsia
Preeclampsia or high blood pressure, as mentioned, can affect the retinal blood vessels and cause vision problems. Hence, it is important that you visit your gynaecologist to keep your blood pressure in check during pregnancy. You may be prescribed corticosteroid or anticonvulsant.
4. For Gestational Diabetes
Blurred vision can also be due to an inherent diabetic condition. The first step is to switch to a healthy diet and lifestyle to avoid the risk factors of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes happens to pregnant women. Post pregnancy, you can lead a healthy lifestyle to stay healthy and fit. However, if you already have high sugar levels, your gynaecologist can prescribe medications to keep it under control.
5. Addressing Permanent Vision Loss
Vision changes post pregnancy is common, but not always it is because of hormonal changes during pregnancy. It is important to note that these changes may not have been a part of pregnancy at all. Hence, it is important to visit an ophthalmologist in case you notice continued changes in vision. You may be prescribed new glasses or contact lens.
Pregnancy-induced vision changes may be due to various reasons. Being informed about it is the best way to deal with the problem.