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Morning sickness, cravings…blurry vision? Eye issues in pregnancy

Symptoms such as morning sickness, cravings, and extreme fatigue are pretty well-known symptoms during pregnancy. However, did you know that problems with your eyes can also be common during gestation? Issues with eyesight during pregnancy can be distressing and in some cases can signal serious conditions, however, most of the time, vision problems in pregnancy disappear up to 6 weeks after giving birth.  

Common symptoms usually occur because of the rapid surge in hormones that goes hand in hand with pregnancy. Hormones such as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), progesterone, oestrogen, and oxytocin can cause many physical and emotional changes to the pregnant body.  

These hormones can mean changes to your eyesight or even eye problems during pregnancy. This can include blurred or distorted vision, vision issued during pregnancy and dry eyes. It’s usually nothing to worry about but is worth mentioning to your midwife or consultant.

There are some cases in which suffering from sight problems might indicate that there’s something more serious that could be wrong.

Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that can cause hypertension (high blood pressure) in pregnancy and be extremely dangerous for both mother and baby. It can often come with no symptoms, so can be difficult to spot. Distorted vision and seeing flashing lights could indicate pre-eclampsia has accelerated and that the central nervous system is irritated or may indicate swelling of the brain. If you’re experiencing any symptoms that may point to pre-eclampsia, seek urgent medical assistance.

Gestational diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels get too high in pregnancy. The condition usually disappears after giving birth. It can happen at any stage of pregnancy but it’s usually more common in the second half. Those at risk will usually have a high BMI, previously had diabetes in other pregnancies or have parents or siblings who have the condition. Gestational diabetes can cause blurred vision as consistently high blood sugars can cause fluid to move in and out of the eye which in turn can cause swelling of the eye. The good news is that the condition can be treated with a balanced diet and insulin medication.

It’s always worth mentioning any changes in your eyesight during pregnancy to your midwife or doctor. 

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