Eye care in pregnancy, what should you do?
Although free eyecare is not extended outside the normal groups for pregnant women this is not to say that it is not recommended.
Indeed with so many changes occurring in a Women’s body it is hardly surprising that there will be a greater likelihood of changes showing up in either Visual problems or in the eye or surrounding tissues and tear flow.
It had been estimated that around 50% of pregnant women, will be affected visually and these changes include changes in vision. Due to water retention, hormone changes and blood circulation the actual shape of the eye and particularly the cornea can change in shape and therefore affect your vision and also your spectacle or contact lens prescription if you have one.
Often most of these changes are temporary, but can make the normal day to day activities difficult. Changes in prescription may cause headaches and tired eyes as well as provide vision problems in driving and using a computer.
That is why Optometrists encourage women to get their eyes examined during pregnancy to make sure no problems are developing. There are many smaller changes that with advice can be remedied such as dry eyes. This is very common in pregnancy as the hormonal changes affect the tear make up and the action of the lubrication that is very necessary to allow the eye to function. Such changes often affect contact wearers but there are now a host of eye drop types that your professional can advise on.
In much rarer cases Optometrists can alert you to greater problems that are occurring during pregnancy that are visible when the back of your eyes are viewed with an ophthalmocope. Often the practitioner will use drops to dilate your eyes so he can see the entire retina and look for any signs of swelling, blood pressure, diabetes or renal problems. In older women as with all their patients they will look for signs of increased intra ocular pressure one of the signs for possible Glaucoma.
No procedures can harm your baby or yourself so don’t be scared make an appointment if you notice changes straight away of make one mid to late term for a reassuring check if no affects are noticed.