Many of the physical changes a woman goes through during her pregnancy are commonly known, such as hormonal spikes, increased body mass index (BMI) and swelling of hands and feet. Something many future mothers are not aware of is that their eyes also have a possibility of swelling, causing the cornea to thicken.
While this is a normal occurrence during pregnancy, it could still be a problem for mothers using contact lenses.
The eyes swell in accordance with variations in blood and body fluid pressure, which incidentally is the same thing that causes the previously mentioned swelling of hands and feet.
This may cause your contacts to feel uncomfortable, cause slightly altered or blurred vision, dryness and itchiness or even cause the lenses to glide out of place or fall out completely due to the fact that they no longer fit the eye. If any of these symptoms are experienced when using lenses, you should stop using them immediately and consult an optician for an examination and possibly a new prescription.
Some of these symptoms, such as red, dry or irritated eyes or excessive tears can continue after the pregnancy when breast-feeding, as the content or amount of tears changes with hormonal balances. Most of this can be treated with good eye drops and other non-prescription medication, but it’s still best to steer clear of things that irritate your eyes, such as wind, smoke, dry heat.
If the symptoms are very severe, you’re seeing double, feeling especially sensitive to light, seeing spots, have long headaches or experience temporary loss of vision, you might be suffering from pregnancy induced high blood pressure, and should visit a doctor immediately.
This is a condition known as preeclampsia as even mothers with perfect vision should be aware of, as could be dangerous if not treated properly.
After the pregnancy is done, your eyes should return to normal, and you it’s normally safe to continue with your old prescription for lenses, but it’s recommended that you schedule a few visits to your eye throughout the pregnancy. This way the eyes can be measured and alterations in vision be addressed with minimum discomfort.
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Johannes is a writer for Lensshopper.com.