Pregnancy is a joyful time, full of expectations and hope, but it can also take a toll on your body. Along with nausea, backaches and mood swings, you may find your vision affected too. LASIK surgery is the most popular choice for vision correction, but you should avoid getting it done during your pregnancy.
Let’s look at some of the ways in which being pregnant could affect your eyes and why LASIK vision correction should be conducted either before or after your pregnancy.
8 Ways in Which Pregnancy Might Affect Your Vision
Here are some common eye-related issues women face during pregnancy:
- Dry Eyes – Your eyes might feel dry during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as a result of hormonal changes. This is temporary, so ask your doctor about lubricating eye drops to help keep your eyes moist and comfortable.
- Vision Changes – Hormonal surges can cause changes in power during pregnancy, but this is also temporary. Your vision should return to normal within a few weeks after giving birth, but get a checkup to ensure there are no serious issues.
- Distorted Vision – Fluid retention and high blood pressure during pregnancy can affect your cornea, causing changes in its shape or thickness. Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes will normally go away after delivery or breastfeeding.
- Central Serous Choroidopathy – Fluid retention may also cause fluid leaks under the retina of your eye, causing blurry vision or making things seem smaller. This will stop after childbirth, but keep your doctor informed about any symptoms.
- Migraines – Hormonal changes can cause migraine headaches, which are not only painful but may also make your eyes more photosensitive. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter, alternative or prescription medication.
- Pregnancy Diabetes – Also known as gestational diabetes, this temporary condition can cause blurred vision if the small blood vessels supplying your retina get damaged. Keep sugar levels under control during and after your pregnancy.
- Pituitary Adenoma – This is a benign tumor that affects the pituitary gland, causing tunnel vision. The tumor may grow when you’re pregnant since hormone secretions from the pituitary gland are higher during this time.
- Puffiness – Hormonal surges can cause puffiness in the eyelids and around your eyes, affecting your side vision. Stay well-hydrated, eat healthy, and avoid high-sodium or caffeine to reduce water retention during pregnancy.
There are many benefits to LASIK vision correction, and if you’ve been considering the procedure, make sure you time it right. Set up an appointment with your eye care center before you plan to get pregnant, or after delivery.
Why Is It Better to Plan LASIK Before or After Your Pregnancy?
Here’s why you should get LASIK surgery before your pregnancy or delay till after you stop breastfeeding:
- Medication – You will be given a sedative before the procedure, as well as eye drops to dilate and numb your eyes. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic eye drops and painkillers, and you should avoid these medications while you’re pregnant.
- Radiation – LASIK surgery exposes you to very low radiation levels for a few minutes, when the laser is being used to create incisions in the cornea and reshape it. However, even this minimal radiation exposure may pose a risk to your baby.
- Refractive Changes – Pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones can cause your prescription or power to change temporarily. If you were to get laser surgery during this time, your prescription may change again when your eyes stabilize.
- Nursing Hormones – Hormonal changes will take place in your body even when you’re breastfeeding. These can interfere with healing or cause temporary changes to the cornea, so LASIK should not be performed when you’re nursing.
How Soon Can You Get LASIK after Your Baby is Born?
Ideally, wait 3-6 months after you stop breastfeeding, or one menstrual period from the baby’s birth if you aren’t nursing. This way, you can be sure that your hormones are stable and your eyes have reverted to normal before you plan LASIK surgery.
To learn more about the best time to plan a laser corrective procedure, contact Insight Vision Center today!
Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK.