Blurry vision and dry eyes during pregnancy

Pregnant woman sat on the floor holding her stomach

Pregnancy can transform a woman’s body in many different ways. Did you know that pregnancy can also affect your eyes? Unfortunately, many women suffer from both blurry vision and dry eyes when they are pregnant. Read on to find out what causes blurry vision and dry eyes during pregnancy and how you can alleviate these symptoms.

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Dry eyes during pregnancy

Morning sickness, fluid retention, and fatigue are all well-known pregnancy symptoms that many women have to deal with, but often you hear little about the effect of pregnancy on the eyes. Many women who indicate that they suddenly suffer from burning, irritated, or dry eyes during pregnancy. So don't worry if you suffer from dry eyes: you are certainly not the only pregnant woman who suffers from this!

While pregnant, hormones, blood circulation and metabolism change significantly. As a result of the hormone changes, pregnant women can suffer from dry eyes or irritated eyes as the body produces less tear fluid. This is particularly annoying if you wear contact lenses. Luckily there is something that can be done about it. With eye drops, you ensure that your dry eyes are optimally hydrated again. That way your eyes get some rest and that burning feeling is gone. Many of our eye drops can be used in combination with contact lenses. If you are going to use eye drops for the first time during your pregnancy, talk to your midwife, doctor or optician to be sure.

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Vision changes during pregnancy

Many women notice that their vision deteriorates when they are pregnant. This may include small changes to the thickness and curvature of the eyes, slight swelling of the cornea or drier eyes. Our optician Benjamin Dumaine says: "It is not uncommon for your prescription to change during your pregnancy. This is nothing to worry about and in almost all cases vision will recover after delivery." So do not immediately buy a new annual supply of lenses or new glasses during your pregnancy.

If you do experience a change in vision, you can always discuss your options with your optometrist. Perhaps daily contact lenses with a different strength are a good temporary solution. With daily contact lenses, you can easily buy a small stock of new lenses so that you can switch back to your usual strength after your pregnancy. Many of our customers find Dailies Total 1 the best daily contact lenses for dry eyes.

Good ways to alleviate blurred vision:

  • Using eye drops
  • Rest your eyes

Bad ways to alleviate blurred vision:

  • Buy new glasses with a different prescription
  • Overcorrect (laser your eyes)
Pregnant woman sat in bed holding her stomach

Tired eyes

You may not suffer from dry eyes or blurred vision, but you may feel your eyes tire faster during your pregnancy. If this is the case, eye exercises can help. These types of exercises take little time, but they are hugely good for the health of your eyes. These exercises can help stop your eyes from feeling tired or burning. In addition to this, be careful not to stare at a computer screen or your phone for too long. This can quickly cause tired eyes. And are your lenses uncomfortable if you have tired eyes? Wear your glasses to give your eyes some rest.

Other complaints

Do you notice that you see double, have a headache, or see stars? Immediately inform your midwife or your GP about this. This could be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Your midwife can make the correct diagnosis. The same goes for headaches and sensitivity to light. This can be caused by hormone fluctuations in your body. Discuss it with your midwife so that the correct diagnosis can be made.

Eye test after your pregnancy

Usually 3 months after birth or 3 months after you stop breastfeeding you will have the normal strength that you had before the pregnancy. So it's just a matter of patience before the pregnancy hormones wear off! It is useful to make an appointment with the optician for an eye test by then. The optician can then check whether you have indeed returned to your old prescription and, of course, check your eye health.

Speaking from experience: Vision Direct’s Head Researcher, Anna

Vision Direct’s Head of Research Anna shared her experience of blurry vision during her pregnancy. At the time of speaking with her, Anna was 35 weeks pregnant with her first child. She has been wearing Acuvue Oasys extended wear for years and affirms that these lenses have also been great during her pregnancy: “These lenses are extended wear, so I don’t have to worry about accidentally falling asleep with them in.”

Vision Direct’s Head Researcher, Anna

Anna started to experience blurry vision from weeks 23 to 25. “Something had changed in my third trimester. Every day I felt as if I had put my lenses in the wrong way around, even after swapping them around multiple times. I started having light spots and auras in my field of vision and tired eyes with swollen eyelids. I also struggled with light sensitivity.” At the time, Anna was on holiday in the Lake District. “I had to have my husband take over driving and had to shut myself away in a dark room until symptoms eased. Anna found that everclear Eye Drops and ibuprofen were key to alleviating symptoms. “As I started to experience blurry vision, I also became more clumsy! I was dropping my lenses more often, and popping lenses in was tricky for a short time.” Anna recommends that anyone experiencing this switches to glasses until symptoms ease.

Anna’s tips for pregnant contact lens wearers: “Keep in mind that the changes in seasons can also exacerbate symptoms. If you’re experiencing blurry vision during your pregnancy, try not to panic too much. Keep speaking with friends and family so that they are aware, and check in with your optician and get a free eye test if possible. If you’re able to wear lenses, consider switching to dailies as they will be much more convenient and hygienic than biweekly or monthlies.”