Yeditepe University Ophthalmology Research and Application Center Assist. Assoc. Dr. View Umut's Full Profile eyes in pregnancy physiological changes.
Is Eye Affected During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy physiological changes occur in the eyes as well as during the whole body.
What are the eye changes during pregnancy?
Eyes and cheekbones around pregnancy mask called pigmented skin may develop increased pigmentation. Temporary changes in the number of glasses and contact lenses may occur during pregnancy. The use of contact lenses can be difficult. Therefore, it is important not to rush to change the number of glasses or contact lenses in the early period of pregnancy and confinement.
In addition to physiological changes, pathological conditions may occur in the eyes. In the presence of hypertension (increase in blood pressure) and protein loss in urine during pregnancy, preclampsia occurs. In addition to preeclampsia, eclampsia occurs when the pregnant person develops seizures. Approximately one-third of preeclampsia cases have ocular findings.
Some cases can be diagnosed only by visual complaints. In the presence of preeclampsia and eclampsia, blurred vision and decreased vision are frequently seen, as well as disturbance of light, double vision and visual field loss. In preeclampsia and eclampsia, hemorrhage in the retinal layer and edema of the visual nerve can be detected in the eye due to hypertension. Eye findings vary according to the severity of the condition and gradually return after blood pressure decreases to normal.
In pregnancy, there may be a tendency to vascular blockage in the whole body, as well as ocular vessels. Due to the vascular occlusion of the network layer, sudden loss of vision or blurred patient may be observed in the examination and widespread bleeding and edema can be observed. In addition, existing chronic diseases may have a different course during pregnancy.
How do chronic diseases affect the eye during pregnancy?
There is an approximately 10% risk of developing initial diabetic retinopathy during pregnancy if there is no diabetic eye involvement, ie diabetic retinopathy, before the pregnancy. In pregnant women with moderate and advanced diabetic retinopathy, the present eye involvement may progress by 50%. For this reason, diabetic patients should have received the necessary eye treatment before pregnancy and should be under regular follow-up during pregnancy. Diabetic retinopathy does not develop frequently in the eye, ie in gestational diabetes.
Especially eye drops and some antibiotic drops during pregnancy and breastfeeding are highly disadvantageous. For this reason, eye drops should be regularly evaluated by ophthalmologists during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it should be ensured that appropriate eye medication is used.