Contact lenses during pregnancy may not be your best option. Find out why...
It may not seem fair - the list of extreme changes that women have to go through when they become pregnant is long and for some never ending, starting with morning sickness, extreme tiredness, hormonal changes, massive physiological changes not to mention adjusting mentally to the changes happening to your body as well as the impending life changing event itself! But yes, there are still more issues that expectant mothers may have to deal with - possible changes to their eyesight.
If you are considering getting a prescription for contact lenses while you are pregnant, this might not be the optimum time to do it, although having an eye check-up with a professional eye care practitioner is never a bad thing. An eye examination can reveal many diseases at an early stage - it is commonly known, for example, that diabetes can be detected early through an eye exam.
One of the common conditions that accompany pregnancy is fluid retention and it is reported that up to 50 per cent of pregnant women experience some kind of swelling during their pregnancy, most commonly in the ankles and hands. This may also affect the eyes and cause slight changes to both the thickness and the shape of the cornea, which is significant if you are considering wearing contact lenses as your prescription will be determined partly on the basis of the measurements of the eye. This is also the reason why if you already wear contact lenses they may start to feel slightly uncomfortable. But remember, too, that after you give birth your body will return to normal, so if you did get contact lenses while pregnant you may find they are no longer right for you later.
Another reason why contact lenses may be less comfortable during pregnancy is dry eyes, which again is a fairly common problem during pregnancy and is thought to be caused by hormonal changes. Dry eyes can make wearing contact lenses difficult and uncomfortable. There are various remedies that you could try if this is the case, such as wearing them for shorter periods of time, using rewetting drops or asking your optician if there is another brand of lenses that you could try.
It may just be a sensible option to have a backup pair of spectacles for when you are pregnant. Glasses could also come in handy when you have a new baby to get up to during the night - trying to insert contacts at three in the morning might not be that convenient!
If you do experience vision changes and problems while you are pregnant, do not delay in seeking advice from your eye care or even medical practitioner, as some vision problems can be a symptom of more serious medical conditions, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes.
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Published 4 October 2012