What Causes Blurred Vision In Pregnancy And How To Deal With It?

What Causes Blurred Vision In Pregnancy And How To Deal With It

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Changes in vision are common during pregnancy. One such change is blurry vision, where you may have difficulty seeing things clearly. Not all pregnant women experience this, but even if you do, there is nothing to worry as the condition will resolve after the pregnancy completes.

In the meantime, read this MomJunction post about blurry vision during pregnancy, to know about its causes and ways to manage it effectively.

What Causes Blurry Vision During Pregnancy?

If you are having trouble seeing clearly, or the vision is often blurry, it could be due to one of the following reasons.

  • Fluid retention: Hormonal changes cause fluid retention in the cornea, changing its curvature and shape, leading to blurriness (1). It also makes your eyes more sensitive, making it uncomfortable for you to wear contact lenses.
  • Reduced tears: The changes in pregnancy hormones can decrease the production of tears (2), causing dry eyes that, in turn, cause discomfort and irritation.
  • Preeclampsia and gestational diabetes: High blood pressure and high blood sugar levels can damage the small blood vessels of the retina, leading to blurred eyes (3).
  • Dizziness: The pressure exerted by the growing uterus on the blood vessels obstructs the blood flow to the brain, causing dizziness that can make your vision blurry. Dizziness can also happen if you quickly move from a sitting to standing position.
  • Pink eye or conjunctivitis: It causes persistent tears or discharge and forms a crust that interferes with the vision, making it blurry. Pink eye occurs due to bacterial, viral, or allergic infections as well as due to irritants like cosmetics, chlorine in swimming pool water, smog, or contact lenses (4). Lowered immunity during pregnancy makes one susceptible to such infections.

Changes in vision develop gradually during pregnancy. Find out more about it next.

When Does It Start During Pregnancy?

Blurry vision may occur at any time during pregnancy, or might not happen at all. Some may experience it soon after conception, while some may have it as the pregnancy progresses. Towards the later stages of pregnancy, blurry vision may also irritate the eyes. However, it is a temporary condition and will get better post delivery.

How to treat blurry vision?

Blurred vision can be disturbing sometimes, and may need medical attention. Treatment for blurry vision during pregnancy includes:

  • Eye drops: Using drops that are safe during pregnancy can help lubricate the eyes. Take your doctor’s advice and avoid over-the-counter eye drops.
  • Rest the eyes: Do not strain your eyes too much. Cut down the screen time as far as possible and give your eyes enough rest.
  • Prescription eyeglasses: Consult your doctor and wear prescription eyeglasses if the vision is bothering you.
  • Eye exercises: Consult an ophthalmologist for any simple eye exercises that can help relieve the discomfort.

While blurry eyes can be remedied, you may wonder if it can be prevented altogether.

Can You Prevent Blurred Vision During Pregnancy?

Blurry vision is due to fluid retention during pregnancy, and cannot be prevented. It is associated with the hormonal changes happening in the body, which is normal and cannot be controlled.

While blurry vision is common during pregnancy and may disappear after childbirth, it may need medical intervention in certain cases.

When Should You Visit A Doctor?

Besides blurred vision, if you also experience dimming vision, flashes, or spots that don’t go away in an hour or two, then consult your doctor. Blurred vision could be a sign of high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, and a doctor can diagnose them in time by assessing the symptoms (5) (6).

If you have been facing the issue of blurry vision from before and are planning for corrective surgery, it is best to wait until after the delivery.

If you’ve been experiencing blurry vision only after you got pregnant, there is no need for corrective surgery, as it gets rectified automatically after childbirth. In the meantime, you may try the remedial measures as suggested by the doctor and alleviate the discomfort.

Did you have a blurry vision during pregnancy? Share your experience with us in the comments section below.

References:

1. The Effects of Pregnancy on the Eyes; New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians
2. Dry Eye; American Optometric Association
3. How pregnancy impacts your vision; Canadian Association of Optometrists
4. Common eye infections; NPS MedicineWise
5. The Warning Signs of Preeclampsia, Before and After Delivery; The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania
6. Gestational diabetes; NIH

 

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shreeja pillai

Postgraduate in Chemistry and content writer. She has worked as a research analyst with a leading multinational pharmaceutical company and also holds a diploma in pharmaceutical regulatory affairs. Her interest in the field of medical research has developed her passion for writing research-based articles. She is a writer for MomJunction and aims at providing informative articles based on health and wellness. Apart from writing, she takes a great interest in music and traveling. know more about her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/shreeja-pillai/
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