How pregnancy affects your eyesight

Pregnancy is often a time of great joy and anticipation, but it can also bring an increase in hormones that may cause temporary changes in your vision. Your eye care professional can help you learn about the following potential vision changes during pregnancy:

Refractive changes

Changes in hormone levels can alter the prescription needed in your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Pregnant women should discuss any vision changes with their eye care professional to determine whether a change in prescription is required.

Dry eyes

Some women experience dry eyes during pregnancy. This condition is usually temporary and may be less noticeable following delivery. Over-the-counter lubricating or rewetting eye drops can lessen the discomfort of dry eyes and are perfectly safe to use while pregnant or nursing. If symptoms persist, additional diagnostic tests and therapy may be needed.

Puffy eyelids

Puffiness around the eyes is another common side effect of certain hormonal changes women may have while pregnant. Puffy eyelids may interfere with peripheral vision.

Migraine headaches

Migraine headaches linked to hormonal changes are very common among pregnant women. In some cases, painful migraine headaches make eyes feel more sensitive to light.

Some vision changes in pregnant women, such as blurred vision and seeing spots, may be signs of a more serious problem and should be discussed with an eye care professional immediately. Blurred vision could be a sign of elevated blood sugar levels, a possible indication of gestational diabetes. An increase in blood pressure can cause pregnant women to see spots. At excessive levels, high blood pressure can even cause retinal detachment.

Don’t hesitate to contact your eye doctor if you have any eye concerns while you’re pregnant.


Prevent Blindness America website, “Pregnancy and Your Vision.”
http://www.preventblindness.org/pregnancy-and-your-vision