Contact Lenses in Pregnancy

Like other parts of your body, your eyes may change during pregnancy – what might this mean for regular contact lens wearers?

If you weren’t already aware, eyesight in pregnancy can change. Some women, whether they are glasses or lens wearers or have usually got 20/20 vision, may experience some occasions when their vision is not as sharp as it usually is.
Here one of the doctors at the contact lens website www.lensshopper.co.uk offers some tips and advice.

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Wearing contact lenses during pregnancy
The fact that the body changes during pregnancy is pure biology. The rise in hormone levels, the extra weight, all correlate with the life that is growing inside you. But a change that comes to a surprise to many mothers is swelling of the eyes. For contact lens wearers this may cause additional concerns and discomfort. The fact that the cornea can alter in shape however, is not widespread knowledge.

The change is not as dramatic as it may seem. It is not something you feel or can observe. It happens because of irregularities in blood pressure and the change is completely normal. The alteration is not instant but progresses over a period of time.
In fact, most mothers do not feel any difference since the re-shaping of the cornea is considerably small and does not affect vision. But those who are wearing contact lenses during pregnancy may.

What if you notice changes or discomfort?
If you are experiencing a change in eyesight and discomfort when wearing contact lenses, there is a chance that the cornea has changed slightly in shape.
Blurry vision is inevitable as your vision acuity has changed, thus rendering your contacts ineffective. It is highly recommended to schedule an appointment with your local eye doctor, for a thorough eye examination.

Post childbirth swelling of the cornea is most likely to subside as your blood pressure stabilizes. There is a small chance, however that your eyes may remain in the new altered state.
If you eyesight does not return to its prior shape, there is no cause for concern. The change/swelling/new shape is not visible or harmful to your eye health. It merely means that you will need new corrective eyewear. This can easily be provided by your eye doctor.

In conclusion, it is advisable to schedule time for an eye examination during and after pregnancy to determine the state of your existing and possibly changed vision. If a change is apparent, you can easily have your eyes re-evaluated for a new pair of contact lenses or glasses.

Resources
LensShopper.co.uk cite the following references used for this article:
Chris O. Imafidon. (1992). Contact Lenses in Pregnancy. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 99, 865-868.
Park SB et al. (1992). The Effect of Pregnancy on Corneal Curvature, The CLAO Journal, Oct; 18(4), 256-259.

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