During pregnancy, a woman's body will undergo many changes — some of these can significantly impact their eyes and vision. A study found that 15% of pregnant women experience vision changes. When pregnant, a mum's body retains water, and her blood volume varies, resulting in an up to 50% increase in blood volume and bodily fluids. When this happens, vision may occasionally become slightly blurry for a short time. Pregnant mums may also sometimes experience dry or irritated eyes. While these changes may be temporary, changes to your vision may also indicate more severe health issues for you and your baby. Below, we'll look at some underrated eye care tips for a safe and healthy pregnancy:
Some pregnant women find themselves more sensitive than usual to bright lights, such as sunlight or indoor lighting in stores or office buildings. Aside from disrupting their vision, it may also cause discomfort. To help prevent dizziness, it may help to wear sunglasses, especially if you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors. This would also protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Lifestyle sunglasses come in different styles and colours, perfect for any occasion. If you'd prefer something simple for a casual day out, you can opt for Oakley's Holbrook™ XL, which features simple black frames in different coloured lenses. For pregnant mums, it can help to order online to save costs through free shipping. Plus, you won't need to go out to get your shades, which would otherwise be a hassle the further you get along in your pregnancy.
Getting Better Sleep
It's also essential to get good quality sleep when you're pregnant. Not only is this good for you and your baby's health, but it's also an excellent eye care practice. Good sleep prevents eye strain, twitchy eyelids, and dry eyes. In our guide to better sleep, we talked about how sleep is often a pain point for pregnant mums—the causes of disturbed sleep in pregnancy range from physical, mental, environmental, to lifestyle factors. Daily sun exposure can help you sleep better at night — don't forget to wear your sunglasses if it's bright out. Maintaining a regular bedtime to ensure consistency in your circadian rhythm would be best. Remember to sleep in a comfortable position to help your body adjust to the physical changes.
Informing Your Eye Doctor
As previously mentioned, routine eye care is essential during pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing changes or disturbances in your vision. If you have an eye appointment, it's best to let your eye doctor know you are pregnant. This will help them avoid using dilating eye drops and other tests and be wary about any medications needed. They can also prescribe safer, preservative-free eye drop brands such as Systane and Thera Tears, which have been found to be generally acceptable for pregnant women to use. Of course, regular eye care is also essential for your unborn baby's health, including their eyesight. Letting your eye doctor know about your pregnancy will determine whether they should change your prescription suggest you wait until delivery before making any drastic changes to your eye care.
Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Lastly, your nutrition is an essential aspect of your pregnancy. While changes to your diet can be challenging as you become more sensitive to smells and taste, you can start with adding fruits to your diet for much-needed fibre and nutrition. Apples and bananas are particularly good for boosting overall pregnancy health outcomes. Vitamin C in many fruits can also help your body absorb other nutrients more effectively. Fruits like watermelon can also help deal with morning sickness while reducing heartburn, muscle cramps, and swelling in your hands. Regarding eye care, vitamin C also lowers the risk of developing cataracts and slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
ABOUT OUR CONTRIBUTOR:
Tia Knowles is a freelance writer interested in topics such as childcare and health. In particular, Tia is fascinated by how digital technology transforms the way we interact with them. When not busy writing and reading, Tia spends her time switching between fitness and health apps on her phone.