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Your Pregnancy Can Cause You to Say, 'I Think I Am Going Blind'
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  • Most pregnant women have typical symptoms like morning sickness. But there are also the less common ones like carpal tunnel syndrome and, yes, issues with your eyesight.

    You didn't know? There are two possible reasons why not many pregnant women talk about vision problems. First, there's little you can do about it, a.k.a. preggos just endure. Second, vision problems during pregnancy may be a sign of a pregnancy complication, and so the talk swiftly shifts to the more pressing issue.

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    How pregnancy may affect your vision

    Suspect your blurring eyesight has something to do with your pregnancy? Here are few things to note on what's normal and what warrants an immediate call to your doctor when it comes to typical (read: not so alarming) eyesight-related pregnancy symptoms.

    Blurred vision

    How could the eyes be affected by a growing baby in your womb? One word: hormones. Being pregnant means you have increased blood volume and flow in your body to support your growing child, explains obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Robert O. Atlas. It is also why preggos sometimes experience a bit of blurry vision and dizziness when they stand up too quickly. Note that the keyword in that statement is "a bit," meaning it happens only temporarily.

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    Dryness of the eyes

    If wearing the same contact lenses gives you a hard time now that you're pregnant, it may be due to dryness, which is due to hormones that tell your body to produce fewer tears, explained Heidi Murkoff, author of the book What to Expect When You're Expecting. It may also lead to itchiness, eye irritations, and discomfort.

    Eye pressure

    In the same way pregnant women may develop swollen ankles and feet, hormones and increased bodily fluids may build up in the eye area. It may lead to some women  experiencing temporary near- or farsightedness when pregnant. If you feel that your eyes are more sensitive to sunlight, it's also because of the pressure affecting the cornea.

    When you're pregnant, you are prone or become sensitive to eye infections as growing a human in your womb requires a lot from the mother's body. Some preggos report poorer peripheral vision, so steer clear of driving while pregnant. Also, skin pigmentation due to hormones (again!) caused by pregnancy may also affect the eye area.

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    How to treat or prevent eyesight-related pregnancy symptoms

    There is no need for any drastic medical treatments to correct your vision unless the change is affecting your daily life. Those who wear contact lenses may try wearing glasses instead. Rest your eyes more often. Your eyesight should return to normal soon after you deliver your baby.

    Can you prevent it? "It's vital to make sure your eyes are healthy during pregnancy. The best way to do that is by scheduling a comprehensive eye examination by an eye-care professional," suggests optometrist Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D.

    Laser surgery is not recommended. Murkoff says, "Ophthalmologists recommend avoiding [corrective laser eye] surgery during pregnancy, in the six months pre-conception, and for at least six months postpartum. And if you're nursing, six months postweaning."

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    When to alert your doctor about vision problems during pregnancy

    While a bit of blurred vision may just be a sign of pregnancy, it may also be a sign of serious complications. It's in the list of red flags throughout the nine months of pregnancy, so you should always tell your doctor when you experience it.

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    Blurred or dimming vision, double vision, seeing white spots or floaters, or having flashes that give you headaches —if these vision disturbances happen to you for more than two hours, it may be a sign of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.

    Preeclampsia can occur starting on the 20th week when the mother develops high blood pressure, while gestational diabetes is characterized as having high amounts of sugar in the blood. These two complications can harm your and your baby's health.

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